Groundbreaking ceremony held for new GMC campus
Author: Rabyn Ratliff
Publication Date: 2005-11-29
VALDOSTA — Steady rain and cool winds could not stop the groundbreaking ceremony Monday for Georgia Military College’s new campus.
Nearly 50 people gathered under a tent set in the middle of the five acre construction site as college administrators and city and state representatives expressed their excitement about the upcoming facility.
Georgia Military College Director Leslie Hafer welcomed them, saying, “You all being here today despite the weather is really indicative of the commitment of this community to the Georgia Military College.”
Georgia Military College’s president, retired Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan, believes the new building and location will improve the school’s appeal while continuing to support its growing student body and faculty. The school has been in the Valdosta community for nearly 30 years, and Boylan says the new campus will allow students to enjoy a more traditional college experience.
“Getting out of the storefront building will allow students to visit with each other and study together there on campus, and the parking will be much better,” Boylan said.
The new college will be located on the northwest corner of Forrest Street and Mount Zion Church Road, across from Dewar Elementary, and is expected to be finished by May 1.
State Representatives Ron Borders and Jay Shaw and Mayor John Fretti all attended the ceremony and congratulated Boylan and Hafer with a promise of support. “We have a great deal of support for everything in this community, and we will be behind this new project. This is special to our entire community, “ Fretti said.
Georgia Military College serves more than 800 students and has about 55 faculty members. The new campus will double the space available and provide ample parking for students. The new building will have 15 classrooms, science and computer labs, and office space for more than 30 full-time employees. The student service areas of the campus will be enlarged along with the available number of parking spaces.
Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce President Myrna Ballard applauded the expansion efforts. “Working with other colleges here in the community, we know that how you look does count. The new campus tells the world that Georgia Military College is for real and here to do some real business,” she said.
Boylan said he is pleased with the result of a two-year location search and believes that the school’s close proximity to Moody Air Force Base and the city of Valdosta will make it safe and convenient. “Our students come from various cities in Georgia and Florida, and we want to continue our commitment and responsibility to them and our community,” he said.
Hafer hopes to begin summer classes in the new facility and said that more additions are expected to take place as the college continues to grow.
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