GGC athletics complex gets go-ahead from USG Board of Regents

Georgia Gwinnett College got a green light on its varsity athletics complex upon receiving project authorization at today’s meeting of the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents.

Georgia Gwinnett College got a green light on its varsity athletics complex upon receiving project authorization at today’s meeting of the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents. 

Funded by an already-approved student fee, the facilities will feature soccer, track, softball and baseball fields as well as locker rooms, training rooms and offices. The $13.5 million project will be located along Collins Hill Road just north of the college’s main entrance. 

“We are very excited to receive approval to move forward with site planning,” said Darin Wilson, director of athletics at GGC. “This complex is critical to the successful kickoff of the college’s intercollegiate athletics program in the fall of 2012.”

With the Grizzlies expecting to begin their first year of intercollegiate athletics in less than a year, the project is on a fast-track.

“We have an aggressive design and construction schedule,” said Eddie Beauchamp, vice president of Facilities and Operations. “Our next step is to obtain USG approval of the specific project plans so we can break ground as soon as possible. The target completion date is August 2012.”

Now in his fourth month with Georgia Gwinnett, Wilson has followed through on his plans to quickly build the college’s varsity athletics program. Brad Stromdahl is now serving as the college’s first men’s baseball coach, and Wilson is in various stages of hiring additional coaches. The Grizzlies have applied for membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with the intent to field teams for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Intercollegiate athletics will add yet another dimension to student life at the rapidly-growing college, which now has nearly 8,000 students. Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to a philosophy of total personal development. A complete athletics program including varsity, club and intramural sports, offers all students an opportunity to develop skills in teamwork, leadership and other key areas.

“We are pleased to offer intercollegiate athletics to our students, as it represents another milestone in our brief history. Varsity sports will enhance the college’s vision of a fully integrated educational experience,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “Students who are engaged in college stay in college, and this new level of athletics will provide even more incentive for students to get involved, stay in school and graduate.”

The Grizzlies plan to offer the following sports, which were selected based on student interest, gender equity, facility requirements and potential community interest:

2012-2013 – Men’s baseball, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s soccer, women’s softball and women’s tennis 

2013-2014 – Possibly men’s basketball and women’s basketball

“Our athletics program will add engagement opportunities for our campus community, as well as the community at large,” said Kaufman. “I can think of no better place to build an intercollegiate athletics program than in Gwinnett. This region has the resources, the interest and the enthusiasm to support and champion a collegiate program. We look forward to many years of hearing our students, friends and neighbors cheer, ‘go Grizzlies!’”

For more information about Grizzly athletics, visit www.grizzlyathletics.com.

The application deadline for the spring 2012 semester at GGC is November 15.

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