ALPHARETTA, Ga.—Leaders of Georgia State University and Georgia State’s Perimeter College cut the ribbon on a multi-million-dollar wing of biology and chemistry labs in Alpharetta Feb. 28, facilities that will benefit students and the community.
Speaking to a crowd of students, faculty, staff, university administrators and business leaders, Georgia State President Mark Becker expressed optimism about how the $6.3 million science labs will prepare students for work in Alpharetta and north Fulton County’s growing science and technology industries.
“These labs are an important step in making that happen,” Becker said.
Tina Philpot, associate dean of academic services for the Alpharetta Campus, has been collaborating for years with the Talent Coalition: Healthcare Work Group of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce to address the education, training and employee needs of area health care companies.
“This is a happening place and a happening region for anyone interested in pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related career,” Philpot said.
The labs opened for student use in January, and enrollment in science classes and corresponding labs has grown significantly. Enrollment in Alpharetta Campus biology classes and labs more than tripled from spring semester of 2017 to now, rising from 91 to 340.
“These labs fulfill an increasing need in the north Fulton area, which has a high demand for employees with backgrounds in chemistry and biology,” said Solomon Fesseha, chair of Perimeter’s Physical Sciences Department.
Perimeter students traveled previously to Georgia State’s Dunwoody Campus to take required lab instruction and fulfill their biology and chemistry course requirements.
“The opening of new labs on our Alpharetta Campus is great news for Perimeter College as it allows us to continue the expansion of our academic offerings in north Fulton County,” said Peter Lyons, vice provost and dean of the college. “We look forward to further expansion as enrollment grows and we are able to offer science-based programs locally, eliminating the need for students seeking a bachelor’s degree to go to the downtown campus for their lower-level classes.”
Mauricio Pereira, executive vice president of the Student Government Association at Georgia State’s Alpharetta Campus, said the science labs are a welcome offering for STEM and non-STEM students alike.
“The student body is excited about the additional opportunities this new science building will bring for the students here and the positive impact it will have,” he said.