Construction Activity Shifts to Core of Macon Campus
Major reconfigurations of the northeast and south quadrants of the Macon campus were completed in August 2016, and construction activity is now focused more toward the center of campus. By the time students arrived for the start of the fall 2016 semester, the University had completed a yearlong project to construct a new freshman residence hall, reroute campus streets and expand parking to accommodate recent and projected growth.
The work on the northeast quadrant of campus also involved the relocation of the physical plant offices and warehouse to a site across Mercer University Drive. The former physical plant facilities and East Hall, which formerly housed Human Resources offices, were demolished as part of the expansion project. Removal of those buildings allowed for construction of a new campus street that connects Ash Street to Edgewood Avenue in order to service the expanded parking on that side of campus.
Construction was also completed on The Lofts at Mercer Landing on Mercer University Drive, across from Five Star Stadium. This project added another 313 beds for undergraduate students and included 14,000 square feet for the University Advancement, Marketing Communications and Human Resources offices, as well as a 400-car parking deck.
A new pedestrian bridge spanning Mercer University Drive connects the new development to campus. That project, as well as a new 100-room Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel and restaurants on the adjacent block that formerly was the site of Noland Plumbing Supply, greeted those arriving at the University’s new South Campus entrance this fall.
The Lofts at Mercer Landing, coupled with the new freshman residence hall, added more than 600 beds for undergraduate students.
Other construction completed during the summer of 2016 included a full remodel of the University Center (UC) food court, which now includes a full-service Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and P.O.D. Express (Provisions on Demand). The Connell Student Center food court was also redesigned and includes a new Which Wich sandwich shop and P.O.D. Express.
Construction on the largest academic facility project in the University’s history -- the Spearman C. Godsey Science Center – got underway in May 2016. The Patterson Building was demolished to make room for the signature undergraduate sciences building that will anchor a science quadrangle incorporating School of Medicine and School of Engineering facilities, the new Mercer Innovation Center (formerly the Religious Life Center), and Willet Science Center. The center will be named for the father of Mercer Chancellor Dr. R. Kirby Godsey, who provided a multi-million dollar naming gift, and the quadrangle will be named for Mercer alumnus and trustee A.V. Elliott, who provided a lead gift for the project. The state-of-the-art center, slated for completion in December 2017, will include labs, classrooms and offices for biology, chemistry and neurosciences.
Construction is also underway on the new OrthoGeorgia Park at Claude Smith Field, home of the Mercer baseball team, which will open for the Bears’ 2017 season. The new 1,500-seat stadium will feature a new press box, restrooms, concessions, ticket office and other fan amenities.