Georgia college wants to expand, needs help from voters - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Georgia college wants to expand, needs help from voters

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) - A northwest Georgia college is expanding! But leaders need your help before they can do so.

It's part of a university system-wide initiative to build new student housing on nine campuses throughout Georgia.

Dalton State College bought an apartment complex close to campus in 2005 and turned it into student housing.

Now, those units are completely full and more students want to live on campus which is why the college wants to expand but keep the price of doing so as low as possible.

Students across the United States are struggling to deal with the rising cost of higher education.

“In the long run, if you can get a good degree without going into too much debt and get a great job out of it, that's the American dream,” Luke Jones said.

Jones is one of those students. He's currently a Junior at Dalton State College studying business with hopes to one day going into Physical Therapy. He's also one of 300 that currently live on campus.

“Our affordability is one of our keys that we promote here,” David Elrod said.

Elrod is the director of the Dalton State Foundation and says the college is ready to expand.

But before that can happen, Georgia voters will need to weigh in.

“The citizens of Georgia own our campus, and we are proposing to let a private developer come on to state-owned property and build student housing so our students have a place to live and study and grow,” Elrod said.

On November 4th, voters will decide on a referendum that asks if campus property in the university system of Georgia should continue to be tax exempt if a developer builds housing on it for students.

If passed, the developer would build enough student housing for 300 new beds—Something that's never been done before on this campus.

“Not only do you get to see yourself progress in life, but you also get to see your surroundings progress,” Jones added.

Giving students a chance to grow at the lowest cost possible.

If this measure passes, it will go into effect on January 1, 2015. The new housing is projected to be open by July 2016, just in time for the Fall semester.
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