Library Among Top 2014 Legislative Priorities
As the 2014 legislative session begins this month, the Office of Government and Community Relations will be advocating for several Georgia Tech initiatives.
“A top priority for this year is securing $1.7 million in bonds for planning and design of the Price Gilbert Library/Crosland Tower renewal project,” said Dene Sheheane, executive director of Government and Community Relations. “It’s a three-year endeavor that could double utilization of this core campus space, and Tech has committed $3.6 million in institutional funds toward that first phase.”
Another significant priority is to strengthen support for the Enterprise Innovation Institute and Georgia Tech Research Institute.
“These units leverage state funds in attracting significant external investment in Georgia. This led to support for the creation of nearly 100 new businesses last year,” Sheheane said. “Our ability to bring economic development to the state is an ongoing priority, so we will continue to highlight their great work and need for continued support.”
The Office of Government and Community Relations will also advocate for the following initiatives:
- Secure $4.5 million for the relocation of Environmental Health and Safety operations. “This project will remove hazardous material storage away from main pedestrian corridors while providing an appropriately equipped space for critical safety operations,” Sheheane said. “Georgia Tech has committed $500,000 in institutional funds to complement state bond funding.”
- Secure $45.6 million in new Formula Funds among all University System of Georgia (USG) institutions in support of critical day-to-day operations. “These funds are particularly essential to maintaining Georgia Tech’s functionality and academic quality,” Sheheane said. “Included in the request are necessary operating funds for two recently completed facilities: Clough Commons and the 14th Street Engineering Center.”
- Secure $80 million in Major Repair and Rehabilitation Funds among all USG institutions to repair aging facilities. “Georgia Tech has more than $100 million in deferred maintenance needs,” Sheheane said. “These funds will be directed strategically to maintain safe and operable facilities.”
Also, the annual Georgia Tech Student Day at the Capitol will be held on Monday, Jan. 13, from 8 a.m. to noon. Students can register here to attend for free and will ride Stinger busses to join fellow Jackets under the “gold dome” at the Capitol, meet state legislators, and learn about Georgia's legislative process.
“Our students help illustrate the promise of Georgia Tech and the real impact we are making in our community, state, nation, and world,” Sheheane said. “State leaders have continued to funnel about 10 percent of the state’s overall revenues to the USG, while many states have redirected funds to other priorities, so we are excited to exhibit the value of that investment and work to preserve strong support each year.”