Plans for new rec center at Macon State College suspended

Plans for a new recreation and wellness center at Macon State College have been put on hold, so the school has suspended the collection of a student fee.

Interim President John Black announced that he is suspending the collection of a $140 fee that students were expected to pay at the beginning of each semester. The fee would be used to raise money to pay for the new center on the Macon campus, as well as for new or expanded recreation programs, according to a statement from the school.

College officials learned last week that the planning and financing of the center, as well as a proposed freshman residence hall, is being suspended, at least until after Macon State is consolidated with Middle Georgia College. That’s expected in January, creating a new institution called Middle Georgia State College.

Students who have not paid the fee for the fall semester won’t have to pay it. Students who have already paid the fee for the fall semester will get that money refunded on their Higher One card by Sept. 1.

The college started collecting the fee last year. While final plans were being developed for the recreation and wellness center, the money that was collected was spent on upgrades to the college’s recreation facilities and programs. Therefore, refunds will not be given for fees paid before the fall 2012 semester, the statement said.

Black said the Macon State building projects will be reviewed as soon as the consolidation with Middle Georgia College is approved. He said it’s likely the fee won’t return until the projects are approved to begin construction.