MILLEDGEVILLE — Construction on Georgia Military College’s new, $17 million Health and Wellness Center is heading for completion slightly sooner than expected.
“Since the groundbreaking in late October , we expected construction to start in October, but we received initial approval Dec. 20. Skanska was already on site getting ready for construction. We moved equipment in immediately,” said Jeff Gray, GMC vice president for engineering services. “Right now, we’re in the excavation phase. We’re installing shoring [this week] and begin with concrete [next week]. We’re on track to be complete by Dec. 23, if not sooner, and everything will be moved in as far as with furnishings and classes can start in January.”
The new state-of-the-art facility will provide appropriate space to educate GMC preparatory and college students on health, nutrition and fitness. As part of Phase I of the Health and Wellness Center, the facility will add 55,000 square feet on three levels on the north side of Cordell Events Center and be integrated into the existing building. It will be comprised of an elevated walking and running track, two multi-purpose courts, an athletic health care and training lab, six classrooms for health and wellness instruction, 9,000 square-feet of weight and cardio training spaces, athletic storage facilities, staff offices, and locker rooms to support all of the prep school and junior college students and visiting teams.
“There’s a lot of excitement on campus. The students are tired of cold concrete places; they’re excited to see some activity with the new construction,” said Dudley Rowe, chair of the GMC Foundation and campaign steering committee. “It’s always nice to see something new and different; I think it’s a positive for the community.”
Cordell Events Center, the existing 32,000 square-foot health and fitness building, was built in 1964 to serve fewer than 500 students in grades six through 12 and the junior college. Today, it accommodates the needs of nearly 2,000 students, and with a projected total enrollment of more than 2,200 students by 2015, facility expansion is critical in order to provide quality health and wellness education to a generation mostly made up of overweight children.