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GMC News

GMC opens its new academic building

GMC opens its new academic building
By Payton Towns III – The Union-Recorder

Junior college students at Georgia Military College started their first day of school Thursday in a new building while construction workers continued to work on areas on the ground floor.

Lt. Col. Ed Moore, director of facilities engineering at GMC, said they have not named the new building beside Zell Miller Hall, but they are calling it New Academic Building II.

\”We just opened this part up for class today,\” he said. \”There are three floors in this building. On the ground floor, we have the cafeteria and the auditorium that are not completed yet. On the top two floors, we have faculty offices and classrooms.\”

There is a computer area, music classroom, art classroom, conference area, regular classrooms and offices. Moore said they are waiting for more furniture to come in.

\”Most of the construction downstairs will be done in February or March,\” Moore said. \”The last seats of the auditorium, which will seat a little more than 400, will be coming in April. We plan to have a dedication on May 1. Then everything will be completed.\”

There also is work being done on the parade ground between the new building and the Old Capitol Building.

\”That should be done in March,\” Moore said. \”The cafeteria should be done in February and a fountain on the ground floor should be completed in March.\”

There are several areas where students will be able to go from the new building to Zell Miller Hall.

One thing Moore likes about the building is there is space for the students to gather and hold study groups or study on their own.

\”I think it\’s going to be a great opportunity for the students to study,\” Moore said. \”We really hadn\’t had this opportunity to have somewhere for the students to gather around and study. There are a lot of educational opportunities here that the students didn\’t have before.\”

Dr. John W. Anderson, vice-president for academic affairs at GMC, said the rooms and the building look good.

\”We have where members of the faculty can control their computers, DVDs and VCRs from their lecterns (podiums),\” he said. \”This is a wonderful teaching environment. For the first time in many years, there is going to be a place for students to sit and study. It\’s just a wonderful learning environment for students that is going to be perfect. I think our students love it. When we get it done, it\’s going to be terrific. I\’ve never worked in a building this nice.\”

Student Matthew Dennis said he prefers the new building over the building it replaced.

\”It definitely looks better,\” he said. \”It makes the campus look a lot better. I like that there\’s a commons area for students to sit in and study.\”

Student Latoya Cooper agreed.

\”I like the environment,\” she said. \”The chairs are more comfortable. I really like it.\”

Lee H. Veal, who teaches accounting, economics and business communications, said she likes the new building.

\”It\’s nice,\” she said. \”I like having the tables in the classrooms instead of the desk.\”

Moona Yu, associate professor of music, likes having a music room for students.

\”It\’s awesome,\” she said. \”This is the first time we had our very own music room. I\’m really fortunate to be here at this time.\”

Construction on the new administrative building began in December 2002. The $20.4 million price tag includes the construction of the building, athletic complex and restoring the historic parade ground, Moore said.

\”It was one big project,\” Moore said. \”This building alone cost about $17.7 million.\”

The athletic complex was completed first in the summer of 2003.

Payton Towns III can be reached at (478) 453-1456 or by e-mail at newsroom@unionrecorder.com