After a 14-month renovation, the Tift Building on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus is housing faculty and staff. A timely renovation – the campus celebrates its centennial in 2018 – the renovated Tift Building preserves the history of the Tifton Campus while giving the campus’s front doorstep a more vibrant appearance, according to Assistant Dean Joe West.
Initially constructed in 1922, the Tift Building is the campus’s original structure. Its renovation, almost a decade after it was vacated, is the first of two major renovation projects being completed at the front of campus alongside Moore Highway. Renovations will begin on the Animal and Dairy Science Building, located adjacent to the Tift Building, later this year. Those renovations will be finished in 2017.
“The process was long, but to see the finished result of the Tift Building makes the effort, planning and wait worth it. The Tift Building is symbolic of what this campus is and should be all about, preserving the history of world-renowned research while embracing a future that’s exciting for both our scientists and the students who are studying here,” West said.
The newly renovated Tift Building houses the assistant dean’s office, business office, external relations office, public relations office and Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Renovations included the addition of energy-efficient technology, like LED lighting in all offices. The building is also equipped with communications technology that allows for better video and conference call meetings.
The Tift Building is also better equipped to support the campus’s academic program. UGA Tifton is one of three campuses that comprise UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Part of the Tift Building includes a first-floor classroom that offers students the latest in communication technology for learning.
“We are going to be supporting students. Classroom space on this campus is at a premium, and to be able to provide additional space with the kind of technology we have has been a very important part of this building as well,” West said.
UGA Tifton’s academic presence in the Tift Building is also evidenced by its most visible supporter. Breanna Coursey, who serves as the campus’s admissions counselor, now works out of the Tift Building. Being moved to the front of campus allows for Coursey to have a more significant impact on student recruitment because she is more accessible.
“I think it is crucial for us simply because students are looking for a place they can call home for the next few years of their academic career,” Coursey said. “Our presence at the front of campus solidifies our commitment to academics and our goal of bringing the best and brightest into our academic program.”
Coursey and West are among about 15 faculty and staff members who now call the Tift Building home.
“I love when old things are able to become new again, and this building is an icon for this campus,” Coursey said.
(Michael Pannell is a Young Scholar on the UGA Tifton Campus.)