When the University of Georgia celebrated completion of its nearly $80-million Interdisciplinary STEM Research Building 1 last November, the university reported via its website that the occasion marked a milestone in the system's multi-year capital plan to "build, renovate and modernize hundreds of thousands of square feet devoted to research and innovation."

The project, led by contractor Holder Construction and designed by HOK, earned praise from Alan Dorsey, dean of UGA's College of Arts and Sciences, who added: “This wonderful new structure—encapsulating the power of that chemistry between science and engineering, between great faculty and students and the tools to propel their best ideas—represents a new era of progress at a critical time in our world."

The I-STEM project marks just one of the latest facility milestones for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the construction project owner for all 26 of Georgia's public colleges and universities. (By comparison, North Carolina's state university system numbers 17 institutions, while Florida's state system includes 12.)

Much work remains for the Board of Regents, of course, including the I-STEM Research Building's companion, the $65.3-million Building 2, also designed by HOK. Turner Construction started construction in December 2020, with eye toward completing the project by this August.

Reporting one measure of the Board of Regents' impact on state construction is Dodge Data & Analytics, which indicates more than $2.8 billion worth of projects in the university system across all phases, with nearly 50 projects already underway.

In its March print edition, ENR Southeast will profile the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as its 2022 Southeast Owner of the Year. In doing so, we'll report on some of the latest projects, as well as ongoing construction and design trends currently shaping the delivery of higher education and research facilities in the state of Georgia.