Building for the Future: A New Home for the Mike Cottrell College of Business

The 91,000-square-foot business and technology building, with an estimated total cost of $35 million, will be located on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. The planned site is just off Chestatee Street near the main campus entrance. Groundbreaking is anticipated to take place in 2020, and construction is expected to take about two years.

“I am grateful to Mike and Lynn Cottrell for their exceptional generosity,” UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. “The Cottrells have made the two largest contributions in UNG’s 145-year history, and, in doing so, they have provided transformational support for our students and graduates to be regionally and globally competitive business leaders.”

The announcement of the $10 million gift, which places the Cottrell family’s contributions to UNG at more than $20 million, was made June 6 at the quarterly meeting of the UNG Foundation Board of Trustees. Mike Cottrell is a trustee emeritus of the board.

Dr. Mary Gowan, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, said the new, stand-alone building will strengthen current programs and support new academic offerings with learning environments and technology for our programs that is not currently available on any UNG campuses.

“Currently, business courses and faculty are spread across multiple buildings, which diminishes the synergy that results from being in a common space,” Gowan said. “This facility will create a technology-rich learning environment to ensure our students are well equipped for modern high-demand workforce opportunities, thus ensuring we are competitive with leading business and technology schools.”

SPACES PLANNED FOR THE NEW BUILDING INCLUDE:

• Cybersecurity range

• Computer forensic lab

• Computer science and information systems hardware and networking labs

• Data visualization, analytics, and logistics/supply chain lab

• Digital marketing command center and social listening lab

• Professional sales and marketing research lab

• Entrepreneurship and innovation lab

• Multipurpose room that can seat 240 for seminars, 540 theater-style or 304 for banquets

Additionally, conceptual plans for the building include multi-use computer labs, tiered classroom space, flexible classrooms and computer labs, a student success center, team meeting and study areas, and faculty and staff offices.

Instrumental in keeping the $2.3 million for design funds in the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget were state Sen. Steve Gooch and state Rep. Kevin Tanner. Both are UNG alumni and represent districts that are home to the Dahlonega Campus. Additional state funding for construction and equipment will be sought in subsequent years.

“We’re fortunate and appreciative to have the exceptional advocacy of great philanthropists like Mike and Lynn Cottrell. It’s rare to find this level of generosity and we’re lucky to benefit from that right here in Lumpkin County,” Gooch said.

Tanner touted the opportunities that will be provided for local students.

“I’m proud to be part of this project that will allow the Mike Cottrell College of Business to become an even stronger partner with state and local governments to support economic development across our region,” Tanner said. “As more businesses seek to locate in northeast Georgia, UNG’s business students will be in demand for their business acumen and their leadership qualities.”