Building for the Future
Hundreds Turn Out for MSC's
Dedication Of the Charles H. Jones Building
By Sheron Smith
Photos By Bruce Radcliffe
A crowd of about 400 turns out for the dedication of the
Charles H. Jones Building.
Macon State College just took a quantum leap into the future.
On a beautiful spring day in late March, with a crowd of about
400 looking on, College officials and invited dignitaries formally dedicated the Charles H. Jones Building, MSC's largest and
most technologically advanced academic facility. When students
fill the new labs and classrooms for the first time this summer
semester, Macon State will boast one of the state's premier learning
environments for nursing and other degree programs vital to the
College's core academic mission and to Central Georgia's economy.
"Make no mistake about it," MSC President David A. Bell told the
dedication audience, which spilled over the sidewalk and into the
street running in front of the three - story structure. "The
$16 million invested by the state of Georgia in this building will
return dividends to this region for many years to come. This
building is exactly what we need at this point in time.
At 78,000 square feet, the Jones Building - an attractive blend
of steel, glass and brick - has more instructional space alone than
the entire campus did when Macon State opened in 1968. The new
space, including ultra - modern science labs and "smart" classrooms
wired for technology, will be largely devoted to expanding, in both
quantity and quality, the College's degree programs in nursing and
other health sciences, math and natural sciences.
The Charles H. Jones Building as photographed on March 25, 2004,
the day of the faculty's formal dedication.
"The community has a need for these programs, particularly to
help deal with the area's nursing shortage, and it so happens that
these programs are central to our academic mission," Bell said.
"It's very exciting that Macon State is in a perfect position to
address some of the issues this region is facing."
Besides celebrating the latest in a string of MSC facility
milestones, the March 25 dedication was an opportunity for the
campus community to honor Charles H. Jones, the Macon civic leader
for whom the new building is named. A recognized champion of
higher education in Georgia, Jones was a strong advocate for
the College's focused baccalaureate mission. He also played a
key role in the reorganization of the MSC Foundation, which is
raising record levels of private support for the College's
"Charles Jones knows a good investment when he sees one," Bell
said. "And because of that, Macon State College has grown in
stature in the University System of Georgia."
Jones took part in the dedication ceremonies along with his
wife, Ves Jones, and his son, Dwight Jones, who is president of
Ocmulgee Fields Inc. and also heads up the Charles H. Jones Family
Foundation. Dr. Thomas Meredith, chancellor of the University
System of Georgia, also participated, noting the historic
significance of the occasion.
"This is a fantastic building," Meredith said. "Macon
State College is in a great growth mode."
Troy Lirette, Reannon Thornton and Karen Lisse look forward
to using the modern labs in the new building.
Jones agreed and told the dedication audience that he wants to
see the growth continue.
"I have high expectations for this College," he said, "and I
expect it to change a great deal more in the years to come."
The Jones Building got high marks from many of the students,
faculty, staff and visitors who toured the facility after the
"The labs in this building are excellent," said Breezy Houston,
a health information management major. "Macon State obviously
wants students in healthcare programs to get the best education
Charlene Goodwin, an associate professor and director of the
health services administration degree program, said the beauty of
the Jones Building will only enhance what is already a "positive
learning environment" at the College.
"It's an outstanding addition to our campus," she said.
"I'm looking forward to using classrooms that are wired for easy
access to the latest technology."
Charles Matson, director of the College's respiratory therapy
degree program, also said aesthetics can have a positive impact on
learning. "It's up to students whether they want to learn, but
we can provide an environment that is conducive in learning," he
said. "The Jones building is definitely an environment that is
conducive to learning."
Todd Greene, a nursing major, agreed the new building will
motivate students, "especially freshman nursing students. It's
an architecturally stunning building."
About Charles H. Jones
The Charles H. Jones Building: Facts &
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