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Governor Deal Announces $3.5M Restoration of Dublin's Skyscraper: GMC Dublin to Open Fall 2015

On Tuesday, October 14th, Governor Nathan Deal announced the restoration of downtown Dublin’s First National Bank Building.  Built in 1913, the historic landmark will become home to Georgia Military College’s new Dublin campus.  In partnership with the Dublin Downtown Development Authority, Walters Management Company, and Georgia Military College, “Dublin’s Skyscraper” will undergo a $3.5 million restoration with the GMC Dublin campus anticipated to create three administrative jobs and as many as 50 adjunct faculty positions in the first five years.

“A vibrant, economically robust downtown is a sign of an actively engaged community committed to enhancing its economic competitiveness and its quality of life,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “The restoration of Dublin’s First National Bank Building into Georgia Military College’s new campus will breathe new life into the community. This project will expand access to higher education and create jobs and economic development opportunities in the region. I’m grateful to all involved in this process, especially the Dublin Downtown Development Authority and State Representative Matt Hatchett, for their continued commitment to keeping Georgia the nation’s top state for business.”

The restoration of one of downtown Dublin’s most historic and recognizable buildings has long been the vision of the Dublin Downtown Development Authority (DDA).  In 2013 DDA began preparing the building for development which included obtaining an option to purchase, gaining approval for state and federal historic tax credits, and securing a developer and tenants.

“The DDA wants to help establish Dublin as a world-class small town, with a thriving small-business economy, historic buildings, cultural events, and educational opportunities,” said Joshua Kight, Executive Director of DDA. “By returning one of Dublin's oldest, largest, and most architecturally impressive structures to full service, the Skyscraper project hits a home run on every one of these levels. Starting just next year, we expect hundreds of students and several new small businesses to use and enjoy this tremendous downtown building every day. This increased activity will hopefully spur additional businesses and tourism, further enriching our community.”

Kight adds, “Over the coming years, the DDA will continue to proactively recruit and assist developers. We can help local economic development by leveraging public programs, such as tax credits, facade grants, and technical planning, to make projects like the Skyscraper project a success.”

An accredited two-year liberal arts school, Georgia Military College anticipates opening GMC Dublin in fall 2015.  In keeping with its founding principles, Georgia Military College strives to reduce barriers to higher education, to make it easier for students with modest means to earn a college degree and to evolve a curriculum to meet an array of personal, economic, and societal needs.

"We are excited to be here in Dublin to continue doing what the Governor has asked us to do with the Complete College Georgia initiative to provide opportunities for anyone who desires a college education," said Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, President of Georgia Military College.

Dublin Downtown Development Authority recognizes all of its partners in making this project a reality including Georgia Military College and Walters Management Company, as well as The City of Dublin, Laurens County Board of Commissioners, Maryel Battin, Historic Tax Credit Consultant, Robert Brown with BTBB, Inc. Architects, Dan McRae with Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys, Premier Construction Associates, Garbutt Construction, Morris Bank and Bank of Dudley.

“This is a great project for not only Downtown Dublin but for our entire community. We are very fortunate to have Jim Walters as a partner along with GMC,” said Dublin Mayor Phil Best.

With GMC Dublin scheduled to open next fall, developer Jim Walters of Walters Management Company has tapped Garbutt Construction of Dublin to oversee construction.  With an accelerated schedule, work should begin on the building in the next few weeks.  Once complete, GMC Dublin will occupy the majority of the building and will feature amenities such as an IT assistance business, a coffee shop, and study areas, with the upper floors serving as classrooms and faculty offices.

Pictured left to right:

FRONT

Mr. Jim Walters, Walters Management Company
Governor Nathan Deal
LtGen William B. Caldwell, IV, President, Georgia Military College
Mr. Spence Mullis, Chairman, Dublin Downtown Development Authority

BACK
Mr. Mark Strom, GMC Senior Vice President and Chief College Relations Office/Executive Director of GMC Foundation
Mr. Dudley Rowe, Chairman, GMC Foundation
Ms. Priscilla Adams Smith, Extension Center Director, GMC Dublin Campus
BG Curt Rauhut, GMC Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
COL Ralph Kauzlarich, Executive Director, GMC Milledgeville Campus
Mr. Jeff Gray, GMC Vice President of Engineering Services