Savannah State University
Fifth-Year Interim Report
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CS 3.11.3 Physical Facilities

The institution operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities. (Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3)  


Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance



Savannah State University (SSU) operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off the main campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the educational programs, support services, and other mission- related activities. The University’s main campus has 44 buildings on 214 acres. These buildings provide space for academic programs, student support services, academic support services, research space, and administrative support services.  Moreover, recent repurposing of facilities, building renovations and new construction have been undertaken in an intentional and systematic way that aligns with Strategic Priorities of the institution and facilitates the achievement of SSU Strategic Plan Priorities—in particular Strategic Priorities 1: Academic Engagement and Achievement;   Priority 2: Community and Economic Development; Priority Four: Sustainability and Resources; and Priority Five: Technology and Competitiveness. (SSU Strategic Plan Priorities)

Overview of Physical Facilities

The list of all the campus buildings provided indicates the square footage of each facility.  In addition, the list reflects the primary designation of the facility—academic, administrative, housing, etc.(A.3.11.3).

Space utilization is managed on campus in several ways: Space utilization for academic buildings is managed by the Office of the Registrar. Ad-Astra Space Management application is utilized to assign academic space for classes, meetings, and other use of space. Rooms are assigned by the Office of the Registrar based on room requirements identified by the academic departments.  A list of course room assignments for the fall 2016 semester is provided. (B.3.11.3). Campus Events Management Office reserves space for non-academic events in the application as well . A report of the events and space utilized for (Fall 2016) is provided.

As discussed in Part I, three SSU Graduate Degree programs offer classes each academic year at the Coastal Georgia Center (CGC). This center was built by the University System of Georgia, and is shared by Georgia Southern University, Armstrong State University, and Savannah State University. The SSU Master of Social Work, Master of Public Administration and Master Urban Studies and Planning programs offer courses at the Coastal Georgia Center. SSU does not offer a complete academic program off campus, and no undergraduate courses are offered at the Coastal Georgia Center.

To meet its long-term facility needs, the University has, in place a Facility Master Plan (see attachment C.311.3). A copy of the plan is retained on file with the University System of Georgia’s administrative office. This plan is utilized to guide SSU’s capital funding requests for new construction and renovation projects. The projects reflected in the master plan are prioritized based on the recommendations by faculty, staff, and students during the development of the plan. Over the last five years, the University has constructed new residence halls, renovated the dining hall, reprogrammed academic support space to become academic space, renovated academic and administrative support space, and is constructing new academic space (see attachment D.311.3).

The University has experienced 3% to 5% annual enrollment increases over the past five years. To provide the support and academic space to meet the needs of the students, faculty, and staff several projects have occurred or are underway.  Below is a summary of the projects and supporting documents are attached. 

New Student Support Building

A second Student Union was opened in 2011.  This facility, located adjacent to the academic circle of the campus, added approximately 40,000 gross square footage to co-curricular space for students. The building houses student leadership offices, the student Community Advisory Board, Career Services, a food court, and other meeting and event spaces (see attachment E.311.3). The new student union compliments the existing King Frazier Student Center.  King Frazier is on the eastern part of campus and contains the main dining hall, game room, multi-purpose rooms.

Dining Hall Renovation

The University renovated the King Frazier Dining Hall in 2013. This is SSU’s main dining hall, and it is the closest dining facility to the freshman residence halls.  The renovation improved the functionality of the space, replaced all the seating and tables, upgraded serving lines and enhanced the kitchen equipment.  The combination of dining venu es on campus enables the University to provide a variety of dining options to meet students’ needs (see attachment F.311.3).

Reprogrammed Academic Support Space

To meet academic space requirements of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, the University is reprogramming spaces in Whiting Hall. The project consists of new labs, a digital television production studio, and classroom space (G.311.3). In conjunction with these reprogrammed facilities for Journalism and Mass Communications, some academic and administrative support units will be relocated.

A building adjacent to the campus was purchased during 2015. Renovation began Fall 2016 and the planned units to move to the facility are University Advancement and Trio Programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search, and GEAR Up) (H3.11.3).

Renovated Academic Buildings

To improve the quality of existing academic and research facilities for the College of Science and Technology and the School of Teacher Education both cosmetic and substantial renovations have been made to the Hubert Technology Buildings over the last three years. These improvements have been funded by Title III funds and consist of the following: replacing of floor tiles, painting of interior walls, upgraded lighting and fixtures, elevator addition for accessibility, heating and air improvements, laboratory space renovation.   

Construction of New Academic Buildings

Two state of the art facilities are being constructed on the SSU campus to meet the needs of the growing STEM programs and initiatives.  Both are scheduled to open in Fall 2017.   One of the new buildings will the University is provide 48,000 gross square feet of science and technology laboratory and office space for Science and Technology faculty and students. The other will provide a unique space for SSU’s expanding M arine Science program, the new 19,000 gross square feet facility is being constructed near campus with deeper water access.

Summaries of several projects that have been completed over the last several years, or are underway are presented above. The scope for the projects are developed in a collaborative manner through planning meetings with space users. Architects and engineers are engaged to ensure all elements of construction are considered and to develop budgets for projects. The information from the planning meetings is utilized to develop Project Concept Proposals submitted to the University System of Georgia (USG) office. To move capital projects forward, the University has to obtain approval from the USG. [Project authorization documentation from the USG].Project Concept Proposals are submitted to the USG. The funding source for each request is reflected in the Project Concept Proposal Submission.  Projects in addition to those highlighted above are provided to illustrate the continued investment into our physical resources.     

  Technological Infrastructure

Savannah State University operates and maintains its’ Information Technological resources in support of Savannah State University‘s mission for information technology – technological competitiveness which includes a) supporting a technological advanced living and learning environment; b) Increasing pedagogical and online learning resources; c) enhancing the technology infrastructure and d) enhancing customer service to improve security systems and support privacy and integrity functions.

The term technology includes, but is not limited to: hardware, software, telecommunications, Voice over IP (telephones), video surveillance, personal computers, laptops, tablets, cellular telephones, wireless networks, local and wide area networks, public safety radio services, peripheral equipment, technology facilities including data centers, dedicated facsimile machines, smart classroom, training facilities, including technology personnel tasked with the planning, implementation, and support of technology on campus. 

IT infrastructure refers to the composite hardware, software, network resources and services required for the existence, operation and management of an enterprise IT environment.  The technology infrastructure is maintained by the Information Technology Services (ITS) department – a service organization supporting the university’s mission to provide an innovative, customer-focused, and robust foundation for information technology (IT) solutions that enable Savannah State University community to pursue excellence in research, education, and public service. 

The Savannah State’s technology infrastructure utilizes PeachNet, a state-wide network that is based on a fiber-optic data network that connects at a minimum all buildings by 1GB speed to the Data Center.  This network provides connectivity for computer, data storage, video surveillance, door access, smart building technology, telephony, fire alarms, panic alarms, television, environmental controls, and digital signage among other applications.  With the increased use of online learning resources and social networking among students, faculty and staff, as well as the popularity of mobile applications, Savannah State University has a great demand for access to information from anywhere.  The campus wide wireless network consists of 526 access points covering 214 acres indoors and outdoors.


Table 3.11.3.t

Alignment of Information Technology Resources Plans, Goals Objectives with

Savannah State University’s Strategic Themes



Information Technology Resources Completed Objectives

SSU ITS Strategic Themes




SSU’s Student and Faculty Laptop Loaner program was established 5 years ago to assist new faculty and give SSU students with limited resources access to mobile devices.  These resources provide students with access to additional resources outside classroom instruction to further the scope of learning beyond the classroom.




Supporting a technologically advanced living and learning environment.


Increase SMART Classrooms on SSU’s Campus

During 2013, Information Technology Services upgraded sixty percent of classroom technology to SMART Classrooms. Instructional technology is an integral part to providing a collaborative learning environment.



Increased access to technology for pedagogical and online learning


Desktop as a Service

ITS implemented Desktop as a Service in October 2012 allowing students, faculty and staff access to campus software through an internet connection from anywhere in the world. This cloud-based strategy provides many key advantages including disaster recovery, access for students traveling abroad and students learning exclusively online.



Supporting a technologically advanced living and learning environment.


Increased access to technology for pedagogical and online learning


Information Technology Services implementation of Ad-Astra Schedule has provided positive improvements in the scheduling and optimization of academic space scheduling and event spaces for faculty, students, employees, and external users scheduling.  Ad-Astra Schedule provides a web-based guest and user portal for space requests.  An electronic approval workflow system alleviates bottlenecks previously caused by the manual approval process of space request forms.  Events are displayed in a unified calendar with custom views viewable by all users. 

Ad-Astra Schedule resolved two major academic issues:  (1) Space utilization reports were previously skewed because academic laboratories (e.g., chemistry, biology) only documented class teaching time.  Ad-Astra enables the documentation of class research time – the time faculty spend conducting research in academic laboratories; and (2) academic units previously held an ownership view of classroom spaces.  As a result is the Ad-Astra optimization function, all academic spaces are open to all units and are reserved based on classroom features and academic preferences.

Ad-Astra Schedule also uses optimization to improve space utilization. 


Supporting a technologically advanced living and learning environment.


Increased access to technology for pedagogical and online learning


Degree Works is a web-based tool to help students and advisors monitor a student’s progress toward degree completion. 


Supporting a technologically advanced living and learning environment.


Increased access to technology for pedagogical and online learning


SSU implemented a new Student Success Collaborative (SSC) system that combines technology, research, process improvement and predictive analytics to enable proactive, data-driven conversations with students.  Using this system the university will be able to leverage student data and use the predictive analytics to suggest patterns in student behavior.  Early identification and use of this information can positively affect student outcomes.


Supporting a technologically advanced living and learning environment.



Information Technology Services at Savannah State University was an early adopter of Cloud Computing services.  The initial concept of going to cloud computing was to:  reduce operating cost, and enhance business continuity services.  SSU’s location is located in a high frequency hurricane area and needed remote locations such that business services could continue after an evacuation.  To access cloud computing resources, Savannah State utilizes PeachNet, a state-wide network, to connect to the Internet.   Network connectivity is critical to university operations and information technology strategies.  The connection has diverse paths, is reliant to outages, and has high availability optical equipment in place.  As of 2016, 100% of the academic resources students need are in the cloud and available to them from anywhere.  When accessing technology on campus the student’s Internet connection is 1GB/s.  The faculty/staff Internet connection is 330MB.



Enhancing the technology infrastructure



Data Center Redesign and Hardware Reduction

SSU’s data center was relocated to a newly designed facility, where SSU houses the university’s computer services and applications and solutions that cannot be moved to the cloud.   The new data center was completely redesigned to utilize in row cooling systems, and a separate backup air conditioning system for redundancy.  On the power side, an inline Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) is in place with a natural gas generator as a redundant feature for business continuity.


SSU has committed to a long term initiative to reduce the physical footprint of the university data center by 50% allowing for tens of thousands of dollars a year in savings in cooling and electricity.  Critical on premise systems and applications have been removed from the SSU campus and are now cloud-based.  In addition, an ongoing project to remove physical servers and replace them with virtual servers is also in place.




Enhancing the technology infrastructure



ITS implemented a new Fiber Ring to ensure maximum network connectivity utilizing diverse paths for mission critical applications, Internet access, buildings and applications, and an underground route redundant campus wide fiber optic data ring was constructed in 2014.  Consisting of 144 strands (72 pairs) of single mode optical fiber the Fiber Ring serves as the campus network backbone.  The ring passes through three strategically located campus distribution points as well as the data center.  This routing enables direct connection to the campus data center from any distribution or building network closet on campus.



Enhancing the technology infrastructure



Critical Network Equipment Upgrade by ITS to ensure that the network and infrastructure remain operational, reliable, and cost effective, a comprehensive network core upgrade was completed in 2016.  The campus network core switch, firewalls, wireless controllers and data center rack switches were replaced.  All of the critical network components were upgraded to state-of-the-art equipment with a five year strategic horizon objective.



Enhancing the technology infrastructure


Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

  • (SSU Strategic Plan Priorities) SSU Strategic Plan Priorities
  • (A.3.11.3) Campus Building Data.xlsx
  • (B.3.11.3) Astra Course Section List for Fall 2016.xls
  • (C.3.11.3) FACILITIES MASTER PLAN-2011.pdf
  • (D.3.11.3) CAPITAL PLAN- FY 17-21.pdf
  • (E.3.11.3)
  • (I.3.11.3) University Advancement/Trios Programs JASMINE PROPERTY ACQUISITION- 2016.pdf