Anne Taylor Carros
Lord Aeck Sargent
August 22, 2005
Lord, Aeck & Sargent Completes $20.5 Million, Multi-part Project for Georgia Military College
Education Facility/Student Center Serves as Campus Center for Academic and Social Life
Total Project Also Includes New Athletic Complex, Student Plaza and Restoration of Historic Parade Ground
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga., Aug. 22, 2005 – In its second project for Georgia Military College (GMC), the Atlanta-based architecture firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent has planned, designed and overseen the completion of a three-phase project for the college: a new, $15 million multi- purpose education facility and student center that has become the centerpiece for GMC academic and social life; a new student plaza and restored historic Old Capitol Parade Ground; and an initial phase $2.8 million student athletic facility and rifle range. Total project cost was approximately $20.5 million.
Lord, Aeck & Sargent’s work follows the firm’s historic rehabilitation of Georgia’s Gothic Revival style Old State Capitol Building, which is the icon for the GMC campus. It sits on the highest point in Milledgeville, (Georgia’s capital from 1807 to 1867), and is the focal point of the city plan. The rehabilitation was completed in 2000.
New Academic Building Complements Gothic Revival-style Architecture
The new education facility and student center, called the New Academic Building, is a three-story, 60,000-square-foot structure that connects on all floors with an existing building known as Zell Miller Hall. The new addition includes an academic classroom wing and an enclosed three-story central atrium between it and Zell Miller Hall. The new facility includes AV- supported classrooms, a chemistry laboratory, computer laboratories, food court and kitchen, student center, bookstore, 407-seat auditorium, and faculty and administrative offices.
“In designing the New Academic Building, we took our cue from the Gothic Revival architecture of the Old Capitol as well as the Milledgeville city plan,” said Joe Greco, AIA, the building’s principal designer. “While we created a structure that’s complementary to adjacent architecture, we designed it to be much more open and with more natural lighting, especially along the axis of the Old Capitol tower.”
Greco noted that the central common atrium space is daylit by clerestories and is spanned by exposed wood timber-arched trusses to create a distinctive main space. The atrium features an axial view across the Historic Parade Ground to the Old Capitol Building. Inside is a custom granite fountain and a finely detailed public staircase that connects the two main levels of the student center.
The exterior of the facility is traditional stucco-on-brick with cast stone window lintels and sills. The entrance from the Historic Parade Ground, which was visited by Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette in 1825, is through a new amphitheatre-like student plaza.
The design and construction of the New Academic Building required the demolition of an old gymnasium and classroom facility.
“We were in dire need of additional classrooms and needed to replace aged support facilities,” said Major General Peter Boylan, Georgia Military College president. “With limited acreage available, the design required exceptional insight and imagination. Lord, Aeck & Sargent provided a splendid design that’s in keeping with the Gothic architecture that graces this historic campus. The firm’s design merged with an existing building in flawless symmetry and integrated the athletic facility and Parade Ground aspects of the project with refinement and in a manner that complements the other existing structures, in particular, the Old Capitol Building.”
Athletic Facility Designed for Durability, Economy and Lively Aesthetics
GMC’s new Parnell Ruark Athletic Complex was designed to replace the locker rooms and rifle range demolished to make room for the New Academic Building. The single-story, 25,000-square-foot long-span steel structure is clad with a combination of masonry and window wall and Victorian metal shingles.
“We designed the facility with durability, economy and lively aesthetics in mind,” Greco said. “The metal shingles provide a highly durable, yet bright and dynamic textured surface that creates interest and shadow even without a great deal of additional façade detail. The cream- colored brick and ground-face masonry used blends with the color palette of the stucco found on the historic square campus buildings. The interior is informal and open to the exposed steel structure above. A main corridor space lit by clerestories serves as the organizing spine for the building plan.”
The athletic complex houses a state-of-the-art weight room; a 12-station competition rifle range; a training room with two whirlpools and two electrostem/ultrasound stations; men’s and women’s junior college locker rooms; boys’ and girls’ high school locker rooms; visitors’ locker room; coaches’ conference and video room; faculty and coaches’ offices; flexible classrooms; and an inviting reception area.
The Design and Construction Team
In addition to Lord, Aeck & Sargent as architect, the design and construction team for the New Academic Building, the Parnell Ruark Athletic Facility and the Georgia Military College Historic Parade Ground includes:
- The Beck Group (Atlanta office), construction manager
- KSi Structural Engineers (Atlanta), structural engineer
- Andrews, Hammock & Powell (Macon, Ga.), MEP/FP engineer
- Carter & Sloope (Macon), civil engineer
- Carter & Sloope (Macon) landscape architect for the New Academic Building II and Parnell Ruark Athletic Facility (Lord, Aeck & Sargent was the landscape architect for the Historic Parade Ground)
- Waveguide Consulting (Atlanta), AV consultant
- Kyle Smith Theatre Consulting (Atlanta), theatre consultant
About Lord, Aeck & Sargent
Founded in 1942, Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architectural firm serving clients in scientific, academic, historic preservation, arts and cultural, and multi-family housing and mixed- use markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. Lord, Aeck & Sargent has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, visit the firm at www.lordaecksargent.com.