Bainbridge College shows off new Student Wellness Center - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge College shows off new Student Wellness Center

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BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –Bainbridge College cut the ribbon on a new multi-million dollar student wellness center Tuesday.

The new building will allow students to exercise, buy books, and eat lunch without leaving campus.

The ribbon-cutting also marks two years since the college's last addition--the Kirbo Regional Center. But this project went a little smoother than that one.

A 150-seat cafeteria, a basketball court that doubles as a volleyball court, and a gym stocked with flat screen TVs, cardio and weight-training equipment. These are just a few perks of the new Bainbridge College Student Wellness Center.

"All the students are just ready to get in," says Justin Gravlee, the Wellness Center's new director. "They think it's gonna be open this week. It's going to be an awesome opportunity. We just have to make sure they're patient."

Construction on the new building started last August. And officials say the entire process went perfectly from beginning to end.

"It was on point," explains Larry McConnell, Bainbridge College's Project Manager. "No change orders to the job and finished on time. It doesn't happen often. And it didn't happen on the last project we had."

That last project, the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center, finally opened in 2008 after going over budget and past deadlines.

"We're trying to forget the Kirbo project and move forward," McConnell admits.

College officials say they now have a building they can truly be proud of. And one that serves an important purpose.

"We really don't have enough room in the old student center," says Bainbridge College student Danny Casteel. "Everyone is kind of crammed in there."

"Students are what keep us in business," McConnell points out. "So we do everything for them. That's our focus, trying to keep kids on campus and give them more to do."

And officials say the new building is only the beginning for Bainbridge College.

"We feel so fortunate to be able to have a 78,000 square foot gymnasium on a campus that was built in 1973," McConnel continues. "And we hope it's a sign of what's to come."

"Now maybe they'll get a basketball team?" says a hopeful Casteel.

Even if that doesn't happen, the new center is certainly enough to build school spirit at Bainbridge College.

The 20-million dollar Student Wellness center is being paid for through student fees.

It will open fully to students at the beginning of next semester and will also host graduation ceremonies this spring.

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