About Macon State
It’s not often that the cost of going to college actually goes down from one year to the next, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen this fall at Macon State College.
Interim President John Black announced Tuesday that he is suspending the collection of a $140 fee that students were expected to pay at the beginning of each semester. The fee was intended to raise money to pay for a new recreation and wellness center on the Macon campus, as well as for new or expanded recreation programs.
However, college officials learned last week that the planning and financing of the center, as well as a proposed freshman residence hall, is being suspended, at least until after Macon State is consolidated with Middle Georgia College. The consolidation is expected to occur in January, creating a new institution called Middle Georgia State College.
As a result of the construction being put on hold, the $140 fee won’t be needed right away to pay for construction or maintenance of the buildings, so Black decided to suspend collection of the fee.
Students who have not paid the fee for the fall semester won’t have to pay it. Students who have already paid the fee for the fall semester will get that money refunded on their Higher One card. The refunds are expected to appear in students’ accounts by September 1.
The college started collecting the fee last year. While final plans were being developed for the recreation and wellness center, the money that was collected was spent on upgrades to the college’s recreation facilities and programs -- the recreation and wellness facilities at the Warner Robins Campus were renovated and are scheduled to open in August; new recreation equipment has been purchased; and recreation programs at both the Macon and Warner Robins campuses have been expanded, including the introduction of a club football program scheduled to begin this fall. The money also was used for the design and planning of the new center.
Since expenses for improvement of the recreation programs and facilities already have been incurred, refunds – which will come from the college’s auxiliary fund reserves -- will not be given for fees paid prior to the fall 2012 semester. As previously planned, students and graduates who paid the fee last year will be able to use the recreation center during its first year of existence.
Black’s action on suspension of the fee followed his announcement in an email to faculty and staff on Monday that the two proposed building projects are on hold. College officials learned of the suspension last week, which the president said was due to possible or proposed changes in the bond ratings of two University System of Georgia institutions – neither of which involved Macon State.
“The Chancellor and his staff reiterated the suspension of our two projects is not a negative reflection on Macon State or on its handling of these projects,” Black said. “The suspension is temporary and precautionary until the System can deal with an issue at sister institutions.”
Black said the Macon State building projects will be reviewed as soon as the consolidation with Middle Georgia College is approved. He said it’s likely the fee won’t return until the projects are approved to begin construction.