“Childhood obesity has tripled in a generation. Obese children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults, developing diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Currently, three out of four military-age Americans are unqualified for military service, largely, the result of obesity,” Rowe said. “By having more health and wellness programs, then it can help cure some of these issues. It’s all about developing intellect and elevating the character.”
More than 94 percent, or $16 million, of the needed funds have already been secured for the $17 million project. Through support from the legislature, the State of Georgia provided $7 million in bonds while $7 million was set aside from institutional reserves.
“The remaining $3 million represents the fundraising goal for the GMC Foundation’s Health and Wellness Campaign. Of this amount, $2 million has been secured thus far. The total amount of funds remaining to be raised in order to complete the project is $1 million,” said Elizabeth Sheppard, GMC vice president for advancement. “We’re pleased that we’re at the $2 million mark and have yet to raise $1 million from now until the building opens at the end of the year.”
The additional costs of maintaining the facility and its health and wellness programming are projected to total $156,000 annually, which has been figured into the fiscal year 2014 budget. Additional revenue to be generated is projected to total $110,000 annually.
“We entered the public phase of the campaign since the groundbreaking by involving all alumni, friends and the community to take part in supporting this project. People can sponsor fitness equipment that will furnish the fitness facility, or make gifts at any level,” Sheppard said. “With the construction going on, people are able to see a dream become a reality right before their eyes. The whole community can do that and enjoy being part of that.”