The new Psychology and Counseling Center, that opened June 23 at 9:30 a.m., provides students and faculty with a more convenient, upgraded environment that will benefit them as well as the community.
The department, previously located at Regional Center for Continuing Education, two blocks south of the University Center, is now located on the Pedestrian Mall beside Converse Hall.
“Almost 700 students would take classes in the department on the (main) campus, which meant that faculty and students were shuttling back and forth (sometimes)…two or three times a day,” said Robert Bauer, head of the Department of Psychology and Counseling.
In addition to being located on main campus, the new facility offers more space for students and teachers.
“(The former building) had limited classrooms in size and number, no research laboratories and no clinic,” Dr. Bauer said.
According to the VSU website, “the new building includes six classrooms, two computer labs, a 150-seat auditorium, clinical space, offices for psychology and counseling faculty, and administrative offices for the Graduate School and Sponsored Programs and Research Administration.”
The clinical space will benefit students and faculty, as well as the Valdosta community.
“The clinic operation will be mainly to train the students in the (department’s) graduate programs…and within a year the clinic will offer services to public schools, the courts, rehabilitation services and others needing psychological and counseling services,” Dr. Bauer said.
The technological upgrade stands out to David Monetti, professor and education field experience coordinator for the Psychology and Counseling department, as a plus to the new building.
“This facility will give (the students) a 21st century learning environment complete with technology and lab space that should help us better prepare students to be critical thinkers in a rapidly changing economy,” Dr. Monetti said.
Derika Powers, a senior psychology major and SGA vice president who participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, is excited to start using the new building.
“I’m estatic,” Powers said. “I was waiting for it. (It’s good) to have classes with teachers in the same building. It was a hard time finding teachers before.”
Graham Davis, a junior political science major and SGA president, was in awe of the new addition.
“It’s beautiful,” Davis said. “Hopefully this will draw more psychology majors in.”
The construction started on Aug. 24, 2010, for the $5 million, 33,000-square-foot building.The general contractor was the Savannah firm Elkins Constructors, Inc., and the architecture firm was Valdosta’s Ellis, Ricket and Associates, according to Boyd.
“Someone will walk by in two weeks and say this is a fine historical building,” Patrick Schloss, former VSU president, said.