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New GMC health facility receives $750K grant

http://unionrecorder.com/local/x1374705422/New-GMC-health-facility-receives-750-000-grantMay 31, 2013 New GMC health facility receives $750K grant Vaishali Patel The Union-Recorder The Union-Recorder Fri May 31, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT MILLEDGEVILLE — The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation awarded the Georgia Military College Foundation a $750,000 grant to support the construction of the school’s new Health and Wellness Center. “We are profoundly grateful to the Woodruff Foundation for their support of this important health and fitness initiative,” GMC President Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan said in response to the foundation’s announcement of the award Wednesday. “Thanks to the foundation’s generosity and leadership, our Health and Wellness Center will be well positioned to provide students with the physical fitness opportunities they need and deserve.” The new Health and Wellness Center will provide appropriate space to educate GMC prepatory and college students on health, nutrition and fitness. As part of Phase I of the project, the state-of-the-art facility will add 55,000 square feet on three levels on the north side of the Cordell Events Center and be integrated into the existing building. It will comprise of an elevated walking/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. “GMC has long emphasized development of the intellect and elevation of character. Soon the new health and wellness center, a state-of-the-art facility, will allow us to pursue the realm of health, nutrition and fitness for our students as never before,” said Elizabeth Sheppard, GMC vice president for advancement. “It will provide the ideal space for driving the integration of healthy living on a day-to-day basis.” Phase II, a future project, will encompass a substantial portion of the existing Cordell Events Center through renovation and will include the addition of an 18,000 square foot convocation center, as well as additional instructional and physical training spaces and offices. “Construction is still coming along. We’re still in the foundation phase where we’re pouring concrete and putting underground utilities in,” said Jeff Gray, GMC vice president for engineering services. "Foundations for the steel will be coming in toward the end of June. I’m estimating to be complete sometime around the first of March next year.” 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, with a projected total enrollment of more than 2,200 students by 2015. “This grant signals our organization’s shared belief in the purpose of our Health and Wellness Center, which is to improve the well-being of our students. With Georgia ranking second in the nation for childhood obesity, our young adults are at risk for a host of life-threatening illnesses, as well as less productive futures,” Boylan said. “As a place where future leaders are prepared for real-world experiences, GMC has a moral responsibility to promote physical fitness, nutrition and health from the very youngest of ages, on campus and in the community. Our new Health and Wellness Center will do just that.” Funds to build the new $17 million Health and Wellness Center are coming from a combination of state allocations, institutional funds and private philanthropy. Through support from the Georgia General Assembly, the state provided $7 million in bonds while $7 million was set aside from institutional reserves. Following recent generous gifts totaling $2.8 million, the GMC Foundation’s Health and Wellness Campaign is seeking additional private support for the project. “The Health and Wellness Campaign has broadened our horizons. Strategically, it has been a stellar effort, led by Powell Moore, campaign chairman, and Dudley Rowe, foundation chair and campaign steering committee chair. The GMC Foundation has experienced an outpouring of gifts from all constituencies — alumni and friends, GMC employees, businesses and foundations — placing the campaign within $150,000 of the initial $3 million goal,” Sheppard said. “We are truly grateful to the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation for their generous gift to help GMC complete this exciting project. Now, 99 percent of the necessary funding for the facility has been secured through a combination of state and institutional funding and philanthropic commitments, including this exemplary one from the Woodruff Foundation.” 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. For more information about the campaign, to donate funds, or sponsor fitness equipment, call the GMC Office of Advancement at 478-445-0202, visit www.gmcfoundation.org, or www.healthandwellnesscampaign.com.