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Saturday August 29th, 2015 2:09AM

NGCSU honored with Innovation Award

By Staff
DAHLONEGA - North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) was presented with an award for "Innovation in Real Estate Development" at the University System of Georgia's (USG) 16th annual Facilities Officer's Conference.

The award was presented in recognition of the creativity and determination required to complete the complicated series of transactions that were necessary to build the University Center | GA 400 in Cumming.

"University Center | GA 400 is a tremendous example of collaboration between the University System of Georgia, government officials and community leaders to expand opportunities for higher education in this region," said Dr. Bonita C. Jacobs, president of North Georgia College & State University. "The combination of price, functionality, attractiveness and partner collaboration has established a new template for how to provide higher education in areas that are underserved, and this award affirms the efforts of those who worked tirelessly on this project."

University Center | GA 400, located at 300 Aquatic Center Way, just off Georgia Highway 400 at exit 16, represents the culmination of many years of effort with the city of Cumming and various Forsyth County civic leaders, and collaboration with Gainesville State College to bring a USG presence to the area.

"This is easily the most complicated $7 million deal we've ever done. Our team and our partners at Cumming were committed to make it happen, and with some hard work and open minds, we were able to pull it together," said Mac McConnell, North Georgia's vice president for business and finance.

Ultimately, the project involved a gift of real estate from the city of Cumming, a loan from the Cumming Development Authority, the involvement of both North Georgia's Philanthropic Foundation and Real Estate Foundation, as well as an appropriation from the state of Georgia.

The complex opened in this fall with more than 500 students enrolled.
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