Representatives of the USDA met with Andrew College President Linda Buchanan, board members and staff on Jan. 8 for an official loan closing signing. The low-cost loan has allowed Andrew College to complete two building projects and to consolidate long-term debt.
Jack Stanek, community programs director of the Georgia State Office of Rural Development, said that the Andrew College project was a perfect fit for the mission of the USDA loan program. “We see this as an investment in southwest Georgia,” he remarked during the closing.
The two visible building projects included bringing Warren Bush Hall back to life after being closed for over 15 years, and building four new student housing units. Warren Bush Hall was completely renovated and now houses seven new classrooms, 11 faculty offices, student study space and the nursing program. The new student housing has a total of 32 beds in the four houses. It sits in the area where the former Patterson Hall was located before teardown and the area will be known as the Patterson Quad.
President Buchanan said that she was deeply grateful to Julie Cadle, Andrew College CFO, the consultants at Longhouse Capital, auditor Ryan Inlow, Andrew College’s board of trustees, attorney Tim Davis, Freeman Construction, architect Alex Griggs, Andrew Lowrey from National Resource Management and each tradesperson who brought Warren Bush back to life.
She said, “If you want to see what 120-year-old heart pine looks like (and it’s actually more like 200-plus-years-old given its age when it was crafted), regard the stairpost and the doors on the first floor. We used doors from the second floor to make the new entry way; local carpenter Eric Johnson built the doorway. The old heart pine floors are a darker wood than the first-floor hallway, we kept all that we could.” Warren Bush was originally opened in 1901.
Andrew College will be holding two informal open houses for the area community to tour the new facilities. Visitors can tour the renovated Warren Bush Hall and the newly constructed student house units from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Jan. 18 and from 2-3 p.m. on Jan. 25. Volunteers will be stationed at both locations to provide assistance. Andrew College is located at 501 College St. in Cuthbert.