The Marist School’s new campus technology center in Brookhaven opened at the beginning of the school year.
Construction on the Goizueta Center for Immersive Experience and Design began in the spring after the city loosened restrictions on zoning approvals to speed the project’s approval.
The goal of the center is to help students learn empathy and make a positive impact through service, according to the school’s website.
The center is part of the school’s “STEAM 2.0” program, which combines its Global and Humane Studies program with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). Marist has a $2 million grant from the Goizeuta Foundation for STEAM 2.0.
Marist is a private Catholic school. President Bill Rowland said in a press release that the center “provides our students with new tools with which to serve the world in the name of Christ.”
The 8,0000-square-foot center is located at the bottom floor of the Wooldridge Center on the school’s campus at 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road.
The center includes resources for robotics; engineering; 3D printing and design; virtual and augmented reality; immersive media; podcasting; broadcasting; documentary filmmaking; and music technology, according to the website.
The school also added a 5,700-square-foot, two-story addition to the building with a new admissions office, classrooms, collaborative spaces and a student exhibit gallery, according to the press release.
In March, the City Council changed its zoning approval process to speed up certain kinds of projects, a move triggered by the school’s plan. Officials said at the time that the change saved the school three months of planning and review for the additions.
The new process allows the director of the Community Development department, rather than the council, to approve “technical” changes to zoning conditions that do not “involve significant public interest,” in the city’s legal language.
While the decision in such cases would be made internally without a public meeting, there is a public notice and comment requirement in the code language. A sign about the modification request must be posted on the property at least 10 days before applying. Members of the public can submit written comments up to 15 days after the notice is posted. Like other zoning decisions by the city, the community development director’s approval could be appealed in DeKalb County Superior Court.