School of Public Policy Moves to Rich Ahead of Renovation at Historic D.M. Smith

Posted August 7, 2023

Students returning to the Georgia Tech campus this fall will soon discover things just aren’t the same at the historic D.M. Smith Building, home of the School of Public Policy.

While some policy classes will continue to be held in D.M. Smith throughout the Fall semester, students who need to meet with faculty will need to make the one-minute walk to the Rich Computing Center, the temporary home of the public policy at Georgia Tech through the 2025 academic year. While there, they will be able to take advantage of community and meeting spaces that will be available for students and faculty.

“We encourage students to make Rich their home for the next two years,” said Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Tom and Marie Patton School Chair in the School of Public Policy. “To foster community in the temporary space, we have identified a lounge room targeted for our undergraduate students, as well as two quiet study areas that will seat a few dozen graduate students.”

In 2022, the Board of Regents approved a $26-million renovation of the 100-year-old structure originally named the Carnegie Physics Building. Georgia Tech later renamed the building to honor David Mellville Smith, who taught mathematics at Georgia Tech for over four decades.

Renovations will include renovated offices and classrooms, a policy innovation lab, and hoteling spaces. The building’s infrastructure will also receive upgrades, including new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, permanent wheelchair access, and an elevator. Work is expected to continue through the 2024-25 academic year.

“We’re grateful to the Board of Regents for providing the resources and our partners in Georgia Tech’s Planning, Design, and Construction department for collaborating with us to make this important renovation plan a reality,” said Priti Bhatia, director of facilities and capital planning for the Ivan Allen College, which includes the School of Public Policy. “Once complete, the renovated D.M. Smith building will be a great asset to Georgia Tech, Ivan Allen College, and our entire community for years to come.”

Faculty and staff are already packed and prepared for the move. Preparations to accommodate the School at Rich were completed last week with new paint and carpeting in the first- to third-floor spaces the School will occupy. Facilities crews began to move furniture from D.M. Smith to Rich last week, as well, but faculty and staff will not be fully operational in their new spaces until Aug. 15.

As always, students can contact faculty and staff via email, phone, and course sites in Canva.

“We may be changing locations, but we will continue to be accessible to students and dedicated to ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed,” Sugimoto said.


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Priti Bhatia, Ivan Allen College director of faciltiies and capital planning, discusses plans for the School of Public Policy's tempoorary relocation during a visit to the Rich Computing Building.

Contact For More Information

Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts