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      UGA Tifton Campus moves forward with historic renovations

      For seven years, no one has entered the historic H. H. Tift Building on the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus while officials waited for the money to renovate it, but that wait is over now that $4.7 million dollars of the state's budget was allotted towards the project.

      Officials say the move signifies that they've turned a corner.

      "We're here to develop that new information, that new research for agriculture and so we've got to have the infrastructure to support our scientists and our staff that do this," says assistant dean Dr. Joe West.

      Those involved say the project was made possible by local delegation and legislators who recognized the importance of reopening the building that will house administrative offices and a classroom for the scientists.

      "Agriculture is the number one industry in the state and we want to build something down here where our students can get a good education, not only in agriculture but other fields, and hopefully stay in the area," says District 13 State Senator John Crosby.

      The renovation process will allow officials to take their agricultural research a step further, which they say is very important for the economy.

      "During this really poor economy, agriculture has been one of the few bright spots .Our commodity prices have been good, so economic impact of agriculture has remained strong," said Dr. West.

      The design process will begin this summer and officials hope to have the project completed in 2015, where they'll then begin the fight to receive funding for the next renovation.

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