New Blue Ridge Campus opening fall 2020

In the mountains of Fannin County, UNG’s new standalone Blue Ridge Campus is taking shape.

The roads have been paved, utilities have been installed, and site grading and construction began this fall. The campus is scheduled to be completed in time for fall 2020 classes.

The new campus is located off Ga. Hwy. 515, about three miles from the current Blue Ridge Campus.

Georgia Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston helped secure $5.5 million in state funds for the new Blue Ridge Campus in the 2019 fiscal year budget. A UNG alumnus, Ralston represents Georgia District 7, including Fannin County, in the General Assembly.

“I’m excited to see this important project move forward. The new Blue Ridge Campus will make permanent the availability of a world-class college education in our community,” Ralston said. “As one of the region’s top public universities — and consistently ranked as one of the best values in higher education — UNG will afford students better job prospects and attract new businesses to our north Georgia mountains for generations to come.”

Sandy Ott, director of UNG’s Blue Ridge Campus, said science lab space, a computer lab and spaces for students to gather and study outside of classrooms are important elements in the new campus’ design.

Access to science labs will expand course offerings to allow students to finish specific degree paths in Blue Ridge.

“From the beginning of the planning process for the new campus, the focus has been on our students,” Ott said. “This new campus aligns with the university’s access mission and allows UNG to provide outstanding quality and an affordable higher education opportunity for this region; it is truly a game-changer.”

The Blue Ridge Campus opened with 20 students in 2015, and enrollment this fall is 199 students, Ott said. The design leaves the opportunity for future growth, including another building, more parking and sidewalks.

Ott is grateful for the support of students, faculty, staff, and the community for the Blue Ridge Campus.

“This community is invested in this campus and our students,” Ott said. “The future is very bright for the UNG’s Blue Ridge Campus.”

UNG established the campus in response to a need for access to higher education that was identified through UNG’s Regional Education and Economic Development Task Force, a group of more than 100 business, education, government, and community leaders from northeast Georgia. The new location will further cement UNG’s efforts to advance educational attainment in the region.