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COLUMBUS, Ga. — At least 500 people showed up Friday, Jan. 6 to celebrate the official grand opening of Columbus State University’s Frank D. Brown Hall, a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility located in the heart of downtown Columbus.
The new 90,000-square-foot, $27 million building will serve as the new home for most of the university’s education programs and School of Nursing. It was named in honor of CSU’s third president, Frank D. Brown, who was instrumental in the development of CSU’s RiverPark campus and in the revitalization of downtown Columbus.
“Dr. Brown, and those people and partnerships he cultivated, are largely to credit for this transformation [in Uptown Columbus],” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “That’s why it is so fitting to have this building, now the ‘front door’ to CSU’s RiverPark campus, bear the name of CSU’s third President, Dr. Frank D. Brown.”
Other speakers agreed.
“You could not have picked a better namesake,” said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson during the ceremony.
Equipped with state-of-the-art simulation labs, a tiered 150-seat classroom and group learning spaces, Frank D. Brown Hall extends CSU’s downtown footprint, which now totals about one million square feet of space, including student housing, visiting professor apartments, performance facilities, classrooms, a dining center, bookstore, convenience store and continuing education space.
In the last decade, more than $125 million has been invested in downtown Columbus by, or on behalf of, CSU. The construction of Frank D. Brown Hall has spurred the redevelopment of the 1200 block of Broadway and will bring an additional 1,800 students, faculty and staff to the area by the start of classes on Monday, Jan. 9.
“This is a facility built for teaching,” said Brown during the ceremony. “What hangs on the outside of the building is not nearly as important as what goes on inside the building.”