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Construction of Georgia State University’s (GSU) $85.2 million convocation center at the intersection of Fulton Street and Capitol Avenue will get underway next week, according to a press release Wednesday. GSU President Mark Becker will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m., November 17, at 455 Capitol Ave., to kick off the building phase of the project. The site sits across the street from the Ramada Plaza hotel which is set for revitalization.
Announced in 2018, the convocation center will provide indoor space for a variety of large gatherings, including commencements and indoor concerts. It will also be the new home of Panthers basketball. The building will be able to accommodate as many as 7,300 people for basketball games, 7,500 for graduation events, and 8,000 for concerts, according to Ramesh Vakamudi, vice president of Georgia State Facilities Management.
The convocation center will be an “upgrade” from the Georgia State Sports Arena, which was constructed in 1972 and has a maximum capacity of 3,500 seats. The new facility will also include classroom and academic support space as well as the ability to accommodate large conferences and esports tournaments.
“The vision for this facility, and the direction we got from President Becker, was for this to be a truly multiuse facility,” Vakamudi said in the release. “This is a facility that is desperately needed by Georgia State, which now graduates more than 10,000 students per year.”
Grading and site preparation work for the convocation center is to begin next week, with construction expected to be completed in August 2022. Brasfield & Gorrie is the construction manager for the project. SLAM/Heery/Perkins & Will are the design architects, and Gleeds is the program manager.