Georgia Gwinnett College cleared another major hurdle in its path to intercollegiate athletics Wednesday when the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents issued its final approval of the college's athletic facilities plans.
The decision allows GGC to accept a property gift from the GGC Foundation that includes the Collins Hill Tennis and Fitness Center at 100 Countryside Place, a short distance down Collins Hill Road from the college's Lawrenceville campus. The facility includes four clay and 12 hardcourt tennis courts, an outdoor recreational pool, an office, locker room and weight room.
"This property will provide convenient facilities for our intercollegiate tennis program, as well as intramural or club sports," said GGC athletic director Darin Wilson, whose program also was approved as an NAIA member this week. "Obtaining such a great facility so close to campus will save time, effort and expense compared to developing new facilities. It also will augment our main facilities on campus."
The $13.5 million on-campus complex, funded by an already-approved student fee, includes soccer, softball and baseball fields. The baseball venue will have 800 seats, the softball complex will have seating for 600 and the soccer field will have plenty of hillside seating. A 25,000-square foot athletic building with locker rooms, training rooms and offices also will be on campus.
GGC's intercollegiate athletic program begins play Aug. 25 with a soccer doubleheader against Tennessee Temple, so construction will begin as soon as possible. The college will field men's and women's soccer, baseball, men's and women's tennis, fastpitch softball and men's and women's tennis teams for the 2012-13 season.
"We have an aggressive construction schedule," GGC vice president of facilities and operations Eddie Beauchamp said. "We will break ground as soon as possible. We have intramural soccer fields available if needed, but since the competition field will have artificial turf, we intend to have it ready very quickly."