Georgia officials blame supply chain woes for rising college project costs

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue, center, is seen during a luncheon following the investiture ceremony for Georgia Gwinnett College President Jann L. Joseph, on April 1, 2022, in Lawrenceville. The college is one of several schools that have asked for more money for construction projects, citing rising costs for materials. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue, center, is seen during a luncheon following the investiture ceremony for Georgia Gwinnett College President Jann L. Joseph, on April 1, 2022, in Lawrenceville. The college is one of several schools that have asked for more money for construction projects, citing rising costs for materials. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Chancellor Sonny Perdue wants to better budget construction costs

ALBANY — Georgia’s Board of Regents on Wednesday agreed to multimillion dollar budget increases for several construction projects, which officials blamed on global supply chain issues.

The budget for one project, a venue for sports and other events at Georgia Gwinnett College, rose from $42.3 million to $48.3 million.

The budget for another project, an events center at Georgia Southern University, went up from about $58.7 million to more than $64.4 million. Augusta University got approval to increase the total budget for its College of Science and Math Building from $10 million to nearly $15.5 million.

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Costs for construction materials has increased significantly in the past year, an impact of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s a shortage of workers in some construction fields, which has slowed the time to transport materials worldwide.

Annual inflation in metro Atlanta climbed into double-digits in February, federal officials said.

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The rising costs have been an ongoing concern, University System of Georgia leaders say. In November, the board approved a nearly $10 million budget increase for a construction project at Valdosta State University.

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who this month became chancellor of the state’s public university system, said after Wednesday’s vote his office would look at ways to better budget construction costs.

“We need to design well. We need to manage those projects well. We need to be good stewards of those projects,” he said.