Ribbon-Cutting for New Parking Deck Hints of Big Growth Ahead

Some may say it’s just a sharp-looking parking deck, but the new five-story, 737-car parking facility on the campus of Georgia Gwinnett College is much more than that—it is a sign of things to come.

Updated May 25, 2009: Student housing is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.

Some may say it’s just a sharp-looking parking deck, but the new five-story, 737-car parking facility on the campus of Georgia Gwinnett College is much more than that—it is a sign of things to come.

The college opened its doors to 119 students in the fall of 2006. Today, just two years later, there are almost 1,000 students bustling about the high-tech “Campus of Tomorrow,” with 3,000 projected to attend this fall. By the year 2010, some 8,000 students are expected, and by 2015 the headcount is projected to increase to an estimated 15,000.

To accommodate this growth, new buildings are under construction in several locations on the 200-acre campus, with more on the way. Even the new parking deck boasts a gleaming, high-tech design, with a brick exterior, brick and reflective glass elevator tower, and classic “G” logo emblazoned at the top of the tower. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility is set for Wednesday, April 30, at 10 a.m.

“This is an important structure for this growing campus,” says GGC Director of Facilities, Maurice Blount. “The deck needed to be in place so we could supply enough parking spaces for the students who are here and those coming. The master plan calls for parking on the perimeter of the campus while the central part will be pedestrian-friendly green space. Eventually, new construction in the center of campus will eliminate some of our current surface parking, like near the administration building; that will become green space.”

Another parking facility, more than double the size of the new one, is scheduled to be built by fall 2009 in conjunction with a new 600-bed residence hall, the first living quarters constructed on campus. Eventually, there will be accommodations for 2,000 residential students.

There are now five buildings on the rolling, green 200-acre GGC campus. The focal point is the innovative Signature Building B, a three-story, circular, glass and brick facility that currently houses the library, administrative offices, lounge style seating, a café, and an impressive glass atrium. Academic Building A is a contemporary 130,000 square-foot complex which houses classrooms, academic offices, computer labs and a bookstore.

“The new parking deck is just one more step along the way in our march toward making GGC one of the most welcoming, forward-thinking, vibrant academic communities in the southeast,” says GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “We’re gearing up for growth. We have to, because people are finding out about our innovative academic programs, they’re hearing the buzz about our state-of-the-art facilities, and they are expressing more and more interest in being inspired by the amazing academic minds we’ve gathered on this campus.”

Other new structures at GGC include Academic Building C, which boasts a 300-seat auditorium and faculty offices. Building D is the Student Services Center, an existing structure that GGC purchased and renovated at the southeast edge of campus. It houses offices for the registrar, financial aid, counselors, student accounts, admissions, disability services, and a presentation room for visitors. Fitness Building F is formerly Fitness International, a business that was purchased by the GGC Foundation in February and will soon be open for student use. It includes a Jr. Olympic-size swimming pool, a fully-equipped weight room with exercise equipment, a basketball gym with running track, racquetball courts, aerobic rooms, offices, locker rooms, and saunas.

On the immediate horizon are a new $28.3 million Library and Learning Center and a brand new Student Center, to be located at the center of campus. This facility will house space for student affairs, student government, and recreation. Athletic fields and facilities are also on the drawing table.

The parking deck ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning will feature remarks by GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman, Regent Richard Tucker of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), GGC Foundation President Gordon Harrison and GGC Student Government Association President William Johnson. A reception will follow. In attendance will be representatives from the GGC Foundation, USG Board of Regents, college employees, and students.

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