GGC celebrates completion of new Student Center
With the snip of a green ribbon, Georgia Gwinnett College today celebrated the completion of its new Student Center, which will serve as the hub of the young institution’s campus life.
“We have come a very long way in a very short time,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “When we opened our doors to 118 students in 2006, we had few facilities. Today, we have three outstanding student residence halls and a new, state-of-the-art, Library and Learning Center. With the opening of the new Student Center, our transformation to a full-service, residential campus is complete.”
The $24 million GGC Student Center reinforces the college’s supportive, enhanced-learning environment by developing the campus community and empowering students with opportunities for holistic development through a diverse set of high quality, student-centered programs and services.
“This building is for and by the students at GGC,” said Jay Patel, president of the GGC Student Government Association. “This is an amazing facility where we can study or relax, eat or socialize, interact with each other or get involved with campus activities. We are all excited to have it open.”
“Students were involved throughout the entire design and planning process,” said Jim Fatzinger, associate vice president of Student Affairs. “They approved a mandatory student fee to fund the project, provided feedback on design elements, and selected furniture, carpet colors and other features.” The Student Center logo was even designed by GCC student, Homero Gonzales.
The 81,000 sq. ft. building’s architecture coordinates with that of other campus buildings, and it helps frame the central quad. The project includes significant outdoor space, such as a plaza shared with the library, a nearby flag court, and an outdoor terrace and patio overlooking a water feature that doubles as an irrigation resource. The structure was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, which is pending.
Its open interior features glass on all levels, filling it with natural light from a large curtain wall at the front of the building, multiple windows along the corridors and across the width of the 750-seat dining hall, and skylights above.
“Everything about this building is designed to support student life, wellness and development,” said Adam Sterritt, director of the Student Center and assistant dean for Student Life. “It will enrich the student experience and help our students make the most of the many opportunities they will encounter while at GGC.”
The ground floor provides easy access from the student residence halls, and includes some of the busiest student facilities – a multipurpose room, game room and dining hall. The multipurpose room will be used by the GGC Greenlight Activities Board to host open mic nights, video game tournaments, and other student events. The game room features pool, ping pong and foosball tables. The GGC dining hall features an all-you-can-eat concept with a wide range of meal options to meet the varied dietary needs of the student body.
The Student Center’s main entrance is on the second floor, off the campus lawn. This floor has gathering space, meeting rooms, a Barnes & Noble Bookstore, as well as a 650-seat Large Venue Interactive Space (LVIS). The LVIS can accommodate meetings, conferences, seminars and other events. It features multiple room configurations, and high-definition projection, sound and lights. This room hosted GGC’s recent winter commencement and will be the location for countless future GGC events.
The second floor also houses the Career Development and Advising Center, the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Orientation & New Student Programs.
The third floor features more gathering space and meeting rooms, the campus mail room, the Office of Student Involvement and the Office of Student Affairs.
The Registered Student Organization Resource Area is also housed on the third floor, where student government and other registered student organizations have open work areas where students can plan, gather and collaborate on events and projects. The Resource Area also features extensive storage for student organizations as well as a conference room for meetings.
The GGC Student Center was not funded by the taxpayers of Georgia.
“The college would not be where it is today if not for the continued support of the GGC Foundation,” said Gordon Harrison, president of the foundation. “The foundation has supported several projects critical to the growth of the institution. The foundation’s trustees have given generously of their time, and we are deeply grateful for their vision, enthusiasm and leadership in helping GGC succeed.”