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Student Center Renovation Complete

It has been more than 40 years since the Pope Student Center has seen any major renovation.

The student population at Dalton State has grown more than 4,000 students since then, and so the space was underserving the campus, said Dr. Jodi Johnson, vice president of Enrollment and Student Services.

In the last year, the student center has undergone a renovation to make the space more usable and more conducive to students’ needs. Wednesday there was a grand reopening and open house for faculty, staff, and students.

“It was pretty basic before,” said student Janna Plemons. “But now it’s more modern. I’m glad Dalton State cares enough to do things like this to make this a better place.”

Plemons was hanging out with her friends on the lower level, which features semi private seating perfect for studying, some tables for group meetings, and areas for lounging. There are also now offices for different student groups, the Veteran’s Resource room moved to the student center, and there is a new enclosed gaming area. The Birdfeeder food pantry has also relocated to the student center and will be open to all students in a few weeks.

“This is a great open space now,” said Sonia Mendoza, a member of the Campus Activities Board. “Everyone can come together so easily here. And now we have our own office for CAB and don’t have to share space.”

The upper level of Pope has an expanded dining service, a reorganized layout, and a new space for the Dean of Student Life Office, which includes career counseling and support services. Supplemental instruction has a more adequate space.

“I really like it,” said Annalia Ramos, a biology major who works as a supplemental instructor for introductory biology courses. “Our new supplemental instruction rooms are great. We have a whole space for this now, and I feel like I can really help. It’s quite different.”

When Dr. Margaret Venable, president of the College, first arrived at Dalton State she said she decided to walk around campus.

“The first place I went was the student center,” Venable said. “Imagine how glad I was to hear that it was to be renovated. Our student center is the heart of student life. It’s important to have a great space, and I think now we do.”