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Construction on Georgia Military College's Center for Leadership to Extend Until Spring

Tue October 18, 2022 - Southeast Edition #4
Milledgeville Union-Recorder

Georgia Military College and NewDay USA broke ground on the NewDay USA Center or Leadership in November 2021. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Military College)
Georgia Military College and NewDay USA broke ground on the NewDay USA Center or Leadership in November 2021. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Military College)

Construction efforts are continuing at the NewDay USA Center for Leadership at Georgia Military College (GMC) in Milledgeville, Ga. The project was originally slated for completion by the end of this year, but the prep school, to make the facility as innovative as possible, has been making changes to the blueprints.

The school now hopes to have the project open in the spring.

"The real delay up to now has been us," GMC President Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV told the Union-Recorder. "We've continually upgraded the interior from what was originally designed. What was looking more like a high school performing arts venue has now blossomed into what I would now call a state-of-the-art center that can host not just performing arts, like Broadway-type shows, but also nationally recognized speakers."

The 29,000-sq.-ft. building joins several other GMC campus facilities in the town of Milledgeville, located northeast of Macon in Baldwin County.

Augusta-based builder RW Allen Construction and its subcontractors are working on both the exterior and interior of the future 820-seat facility, the Milledgeville Union-Recorder reported Oct. 16. Meanwhile, GMC itself is performing the landscape design.

"We want this facility to literally transform that block in terms of its beauty," added Caldwell.

He said the Center for Leadership construction currently is tracking for a March 2023 finish. That would leave plenty of time to open the curtain in late April for GMC's spring musical, where high school students will perform "Swing: The Musical" as their seasonal show.

"Mark Weaver [GMC's fine arts director] and his team did a wonderful job looking for something representative of America to open it up," Caldwell said.

New Facility to Host Series of Guest Speakers

In addition to being a fine arts performance center for its students, the new building will double as a hall where prominent guests can engage with GMC's college and prep school cadets through a leadership speaker series. Recognized individuals from the military, business and political realms will be welcomed onto campus and share their insights and experiences with students.

Former United States presidents have even been discussed as possible guest speakers, according to GMC officials.

"It will be nationally-renowned names that will be coming here, which we believe will draw an audience in from well outside of Milledgeville," noted GMC Foundation Executive Director Mark Strom.

No speakers have yet been tabbed, but GMC leaders told the Milledgeville news source that the first high-profile guest will likely speak on the campus next fall.

The school also looks forward to hosting professional theater shows inside the venue. GMC sees it as a possible economic driver for the community as it may bring theater fans to Milledgeville to dine and lodge while in town to enjoy a performance.

VA Mortgage Lender Pays for Naming Rights

The NewDay USA Center for Leadership is a partnership between the local military college/prep school and NewDay USA, the respected Veterans Affairs mortgage lender, headquartered in Fulton, Md.

The lender has had a relationship with GMC going back to 2016, and paid $10 million for the naming rights, noted the Milledgeville news outlet. Last year, the Union-Recorder reported that the overall construction cost at that time was estimated to be $13 million.

Through NewDay's foundation, the company has provided full scholarships to more than 30 GMC Prep students whose parents died or suffered a disability in military service to America. NewDay also gives scholarships to students whose parents have served and been impacted by the Global War on Terror.

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