GMC inaugurates the Wilder Hall project | New

A new construction and renovation project is set to begin soon on the historic Georgia Military College campus, the school said in a news release Friday.

Wilder Hall, located on the south side of the main square on campus, will undergo renovations and get a new adjacent annex building to create more space for GMC Prep School’s growing elementary enrollment.

The military readiness school is expected to inaugurate the $6.3 million state-funded project with a ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Friday. GMC officials say completion should be in time for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

When complete, the renovated Wilder Hall and new annex will span over 17,000 square feet. The facility will house three fifth-grade classrooms, three fourth-grade classrooms, a student testing room, an auxiliary classroom, a teacher workroom, an administrative office, a reception area, and space for future classrooms. GMC Prep currently has two classes at the fourth and fifth grade levels. The renovation will allow the addition of a class at each of these two levels, bringing enrollment to just over 60 students per year K-5.

“We are thrilled to have completed our growth at GMC Prep School with the expansion into K-2 grades last year,” said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, GMC president, in an e -mail to The Union-Recorder. “As the size of these classes increases, the demand for more space is evident in our primary school.”

Space has long been an issue for GMC Prep, especially since the school began expanding at the elementary level in 2018 when fourth and fifth grades were added. Third grade arrived in 2019, and kindergarten through second joined the fray in 2021. Classrooms were moved to campus while construction and renovation projects were carried out to make room for students. additional grade levels. The ground floor of the old Capitol building has been renovated. Jenkins Hall was given a makeover and an annex was also built there to accommodate the lower classes. Work at Jenkins Hall was completed in the fall of 2019 and GMC received Recognition of Excellence in Rehabilitation from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for this project.

The school aims to take the same level of care with the work at Wilder Hall.

“We at Georgia Military College are great stewards of preserving our community’s history,” Caldwell said. “Over the years, we have had the privilege of restoring several historic properties, including the old Capitol building, which we use as the operating headquarters at the Georgia Military College, as well as our bookstore and visual arts department. , the Alumni House, Jenkins Hall (also known as ‘Little GMC’), and more. Preserving and honoring the history of our community and our state is extremely important to us and we are grateful to the Historic Preservation Society for working with us to return Wilder Hall to its original state. Students at Georgia Military College Prep School will continue to carry the legacy of structures in the historic Old Capitol Square.

If campus visitors walk through the south gate of the GMC on Franklin Street, Wilder Hall is the first building on the left along the brick walkway. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, it was opened in 1939 to serve as the third training facility for the U.S. Army Instructors Group, which was the predecessor of the Army ROTC according to information provided by GMC. The building has supported GMC’s mission to train and prepare cadets for more than 70 years as army officers. Now, most of these instructions take place in what is called the headquarters of the former Capitol Guard Battalion located near the James E. Baugh Barracks. Wilder Hall is currently home to GMC’s online college staff. These staff members will be relocating to the Carolyn Building next to the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce on Jefferson Street. Formerly apartments, GMC says its engineering team brought the Carolyn building up to code so it could house college staff online.

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