Industry Blog

Macon State College Unveils Education Building

Nov 2, 2011 by ANDREA CASTILLO - acastillo@macon.com

Macon State College students now have a new space to learn how to teach others.Tuesday evening, the college cut the ribbon on its $24.4 million education building, which houses Macon State's education programs and the Georgia Educator Support Alliance. The building has been in use since the beginning of the semester. Hank Huckaby, chancellor for the University System of Georgia, visited Macon State during the day, touring the campus and meeting with faculty and students. Huckaby also has visited other Middle Georgia colleges in the past week, including Georgia College & State University and Fort Valley State University, as part of a tour of all of the system's schools. He will visit Middle Georgia College on Nov. 11 and called his campus visits the best part of his job so far.
"You get a real feel for what's going on in the system," Huckaby said. "We have a lot to be proud of."The three-story, 80,000-square-foot education building at Macon State includes open classrooms that resemble those in actual schools, a tiered lecture hall, wireless access, conference rooms and faculty offices.Atlanta-based company tvsdesign designed the education building, and Chris R. Sheridan & Co. in Macon built it. "It provides the programs in teaching students in the region a major resource," Macon State College President Jeff Allbritten said. "It's very, very exciting."Pamela Bedwell, dean of the college's School of Education, called the completion of the building a "milestone" for the education programs, providing better resources to future teachers.Macon State's School of Education has gained a solid reputation in the state since it was founded, and having the facility will continue its quest for excellence in teacher preparation, said Bedwell, who oversees 600 students who have declared education majors or have been formally accepted into one of the programs."What the facility does is allows us to teach the way people learn," she said.Guests at Tuesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony also had the chance to tour the facility. A group of early childhood education students gave a demonstration of interactive lessons about the Lewis and Clark expedition through the Louisiana Territory from 1804 to 1806, which included a dance around a tepee in the classroom, as well as opportunities for the students to make their own tepees or beaded bracelets.Hannah Watson, a senior from Juliette, played Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the pair on their quest, and said the new facility gives her an idea of what to expect when she becomes a teacher."It models classes where you're going to teach in and how to use the technology," Watson said. Brittany Sledge, a senior from Lizella, played William Clark of the Lewis and Clark duo, and said the environment is more conducive to reaching out to students. "We teach our students to learn in a group setting and learn from each other," she said.

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, 744-4331.