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ABAC Library Moving from Carlton to Branch This Fall Semester

TIFTON – Students searching for that quiet study nook in the library in the Carlton Center at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be on the lookout for a new location this fall when all occupants of the building will relocate to make way for a year-long rehabilitation process.

“The library will be relocated to the Nickelodeon on the bottom floor of J. Lamar Branch Hall,” Tim Carpenter, ABAC’s Director of Facilities and Land Resources, said.  “We will fit as many books as we can into the space.”

Carpenter said the library will take up every inch of space in the Nickelodeon, which was designed to house bowling lanes for students in the original concept before it opened in 1976. That bowling alley didn’t make the final cut, and the area has been used for a variety of purposes since that time including a place for student dances, Bloodmobile visits, a movie theater, a registration site, an exhibit hall, and an exercise room.

The temporary library location will also spill over into a large room adjacent to the Nickelodeon once occupied by billiard tables and a juke box and then later serving as offices for the Student Government Association (SGA).

“A limited number of computers, a one-button studio for recording presentations, and some study tables will also be available for use in the temporary library,” Carpenter said.

The second floor of Branch will feature another computer area for students including a Mac lab and the information technology office. The third floor of the building will be the temporary home for the tutoring center, student media, SGA offices, and the college activities board.

ABAC received $17.7 million for the Carlton Library project and a new Fine Arts Building in the 2019 Fiscal Year state budget which Governor Nathan Deal signed at the Henry Tift Myers Airport in Tifton on May 2.

ABAC President David Bridges said the College also received $1.6 million in design funds for the Carlton Project and the Fine Arts Building in the FY18 budget, and he hopes for $2.1 million in funding for equipment for the two buildings in the FY20 state budget.

“The Carlton renovation will allow us to take advantage of a large space which is presently under-utilized,” Bridges said. “We’ll move the campus store operation over there, and that opens up all kinds of possibilities.”

Tentative plans for the rehabilitated 61,000-square foot space in Carlton call for it to include the library, bookstore, academic support, mail room, information technology, administrative offices, the Veterans’ Lounge, SGA offices, computer lab, One-Button studio, the Student Engagement Programs center, symposium/exhibit space, the Academic Achievement Center, campus media, and student development.

“We expect the renovation of Carlton to begin late in the fall semester and conclude by January 2020,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said Bowen Hall, Britt Hall, and the Chambliss Building are all receiving upgrades this summer. All work on these three buildings is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the fall semester on Aug. 15.

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