Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

May 1, 2012

VSU celebrates future Health Science and Business Administration Building

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University proudly held a community celebration for the Health Sciences and Business Administration building on Monday at Rea and Lillian Steele North Campus.

“This is one of those events that just shows how special the community is,” said the appointed VSU President Dr. Bill McKinney. “I just feel so lucky to be a part of this.”

The lawn of North Campus was filled with various supporters of the health science building that included honored guests such as Georgia State Sen. Tim Golden, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Georgia state Reps. Amy Carter, Jason Shaw, and Ellis Black.

“This is a glorious day,” said VSU Interim President Dr. Louis H. Levy.

Levy presented the history that led to the day’s celebration which he stated began 10 years ago.

“We had a magical strategic plan led by Ronald Zaccari,” said Levy. “Dr. Zaccari had an extraordinary vision.”

Former VSU President Zaccari received a standing ovation from the crowd as Levy explained how he spearheaded the project

by reaching out to Congressman Jack Kingston and was awarded $400,000 for pre-planning from Georgia legislators.

Levy also honored and introduced Golden.

“Many of our buildings and their extensions are a result of his leadership,” said Levy.

As a graduate of Valdosta State College, Golden fiercely rallied behind the health science building and Levy.

“Dr. Levy is exactly what this university needed at exactly the right time,” said Golden.

Golden presented Levy with a 19-cent Bic pen which he had used to sign the budget report.

Golden spoke at length of Lt. Gov. Cagle whom he felt was in large part responsible for the progress of the health science.

 “I’m so happy he came to help dedicate this project that’s going to transform the community.”

Cagle received a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd as he went to the podium to speak.

“This project was more than my number one objective,” said Cagle. “I was focused on it from the very beginning . . . because of what it’s going to mean for Valdosta and for this entire community.”

According to Cagle, the health science building is not something that will be celebrated for just one day but something that will be forever celebrated for the dedication it took to complete and the great impact it will have on the community.

Mayor Gayle recognized this great impact by honoring the project’s champion, Levy.

“I do hereby designate April 30 as Dr. Louis H. Levy Day,” said Gayle.

The crowd cheered loudly and Levy was extremely humbled by the honor.

“The biggest gift is the friendship of the people I have worked with over the past few years,” said Levy.

Construction of the health sciences and business administration building should begin within the year. The 140,000-square-foot structure will house six health sciences programs: Nursing (including a Dental Hygiene Program with Wiregrass Georgia Technical College), Communication Sciences and Disorders, Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Social Work, and Health Care Administration. The new facility will allow VSU to develop additional master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in Nursing, Speech and Language Pathology, and Social Work.

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