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May 21, 2014

Grand opening set for GMC's Kidd Center

$17M wellness center opens Friday

MILLEDGEVILLE — It doesn’t take much upper-body strength to snip a ribbon or open a door, but with these two simple acts Georgia Military College is becoming stronger, faster and healthier.

Georgia Military College (GMC) throws open the doors Friday of The Kidd Center, a $17 million health and wellness center featuring 56,000 square feet of modern fitness and health education space, and one of the premier fitness facilities of junior college campuses in the nation.

“At GMC, our aim is to give everyone on campus — from students to faculty and staff — the tools they need to excel at school and in life,” said Lt. General William B. Caldwell IV (Ret.), GMC president. “The fact is our previous athletic and fitness facilities were sorely lacking. Our student athletes didn’t have adequate space to train and compete. We couldn’t offer daytime PE classes to junior college students. And students, faculty and staff didn’t have ready access to fitness equipment and amenities to stay fit and healthy.

“I’m proud to say we now have a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance the lives of our entire GMC family for many years to come,” he added.

The grand opening festivities on Friday will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and family-friendly activities, featuring basketball free throw contests, volleyball and badminton games, healthy refreshments, various health and wellness stations, and facility tours.

A private sneak peek event will be held today for contributors and donors to the Health and Wellness Campaign, which raised funds earmarked for The Kidd Center. The public is invited to attend the grand opening inside The Kidd Center at 10 a.m. Friday at the GMC Campus at 240 S. Elbert St., adjacent to the Cordell Events Center.

The Kidd Center is named for the family of state Rep. E. Culver “Rusty” Kidd III in recognition of his generous support for GMC. Powell A. Moore, GMC alumnus and Health and Wellness Campaign chairman, said contributions from alumni like Kidd and many other supporters made the endeavor a success.

“The support of the Kidd family, along with countless other GMC supporters, ensures this exceptional new center will be a place for students, faculty and staff to maintain their health and fitness, and a facility for student athletes to train and compete. Additionally, it’s a state-of-the-art venue for many events integral to a thriving campus of GMC students,” said Moore. 

Construction on The Kidd Center began in October 2012 at the site of the Cordell Events Center, originally built in 1961. The new facility boasts state-of-the-art features including:

n a hydrotherapy suite, which includes a hot plunge pool, cold plunge pool and therapy pool for post-injury rehabilitation;

n more than 9,000 square feet of dedicated space for weight and cardio training;

n a health care and training lab with leading-edge equipment to serve college and GMC Prep students and athletes;

n an elevated track for walking and running;

n classroom space for PE and health curriculum classes, study halls and meetings;

n a regulation-size basketball court, which can be divided into lateral courts to support various activities;

n locker rooms with showers to accommodate GMC athletic teams and visiting teams during competitions; and a

n conference room to accommodate a wide variety of meetings.    

Coach Bert Williams, athletic director and head football coach at GMC, said The Kidd Center is on the cutting edge of fitness technologies, equipment and therapies — and the positive impact will be significant and far-reaching.

“Our student athletes are posting record successes this year, including regional and state championships,” said Williams. “These new facilities will give our athletes and teams not only a venue in which to compete, but a place to train, strengthen and recuperate with cutting-edge equipment so we can compete at our very best.

“This facility shows GMC’s commitment to its athletic program by providing modern, quality facilities for student athletes. This helps us recruit top student athletes to our programs,” Williams said.

But the benefits of The Kidd Center aren’t limited to student athletes — far from it, according to Williams.

“The Kidd Center will enhance the lives of all students by providing the ideal environment for physical education classes, intramural sports and indoor exercise. It enhances the campus for faculty and staff by providing a convenient facility that supports their goals to stay fit and healthy,” said Williams. “GMC aims to provide unparalleled character, academic and physical development, and The Kidd Center allows us to exceed that concept from middle school to junior college — for students, faculty and staff.”

In addition to the programs planned for GMC students, faculty and staff, GMC is working with Oconee Regional Medical Center to explore developing outreach programs to engage the local community, including various health screenings and health education classes. 

“I am confident The Kidd Center, with its focus on health, wellness and fitness, will be a huge win for GMC,” said Williams.

Meanwhile, a stronger, faster, healthier GMC means a healthier community— and that’s a win for everyone in Milledgeville.

 

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