Project name: Driftmier Engineering Center, University of Georgia
Location: Athens, Georgia
Size: 21,000 sq. ft. (renovation area)
Cost: $5.5 million
Project team: Cooper Carry (architect), RATIO Architects (architect), Leapley Construction Group (construction)
Completion date: August 2019

UGA EngineeringThis photo shows the hallway outside the Process Automation Laboratory, where students can explore the use of sensors, motors, robots, and other devices.CREDIT: JONATHAN HILLYER, COURTESY OF COOPER CARRY

The University of Georgia College of Engineering celebrated the completion of a major renovation of the Driftmier Engineering Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 13, 2019.

The project, completed in time for the beginning of fall semester classes, transformed 21,000 sq. ft. of 1960s-era classroom, laboratory, and office space into new state-of-art instructional labs and classrooms. The renovation also provides students with new study areas and new spaces designed to promote project-based learning and teamwork.

The $5.5 million project was funded by the university and the college with support from private donors and industry partners. The renovation work includes a significant expansion of the college’s laboratory capabilities in support of its eight undergraduate and seven graduate degree programs. In addition, the project provides students with three new modern classrooms with a total of 2,700 sq. ft. and more than 100 seats.

UGA EngineeringThis photo shows the commons area in the renovated section of the building with spaces for studying and team projects. The renovation includes two “huddle rooms” (the glassed-in area to the right) where groups of students can meet and work together.CREDIT: JONATHAN HILLYER, COURTESY OF COOPER CARRY

The Governor and General Assembly have approved funding for a second round of renovation work at Driftmier, scheduled to begin in January 2020. This phase of the work will include new classrooms and instructional spaces, including a modern auditorium classroom. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the beginning of fall semester 2020.

The Driftmier Engineering Center has served as the home of engineering at UGA since 1966. The 110,000 sq. ft. was designed to house biological and agricultural engineering programs. Now, it serves as the instructional hub for the university’s rapidly growing engineering program.

Mike Wooten is the Director of Communications, College of Engineering, University of Georgia.