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GGC athletic complex passes next step

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

Georgia Gwinnett College got positive news Wednesday when the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved construction of the school's new athletic complex.

The project authorization is the next hurdle for GGC, which already approved a student fee to add the venues and intercollegiate athletic teams in soccer, track, softball and baseball. The athletic complex, a $13.5 million project, will skirt 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," GGC athletic director Darin Wilson said. "This complex is critical to the successful kickoff of the college's intercollegiate athletics program in the fall of 2012."

The complex will feature a track, along with soccer, softball and baseball fields. It also will include office space, locker rooms and training rooms.

Construction must be completed in less than a year, with GGC aiming to compete in NAIA sports for the 2012-13 school year.

"We have an aggressive design and construction schedule," GGC vice president of facilities and operations Eddie Beauchamp said. "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."

In addition to baseball, soccer, tennis, softball and track, GGC is hopeful of adding men's and women's basketball for the 2013-14 school year. No gymnasium is included in the current plans, however.

GGC recently hired its first coach, head baseball coach Brad Stromdahl (previously at Georgia State), and more hirings will follow in the coming weeks for the Grizzlies.