Game changer

Published 9:24 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

The Student Wellness Center will be a game-changer for Bainbridge College.

As President Tom Wilkerson said Thursday during the ground-breaking ceremony, the center will fundamentally change forever the face of Bainbridge College.

The Student Wellness Center will be twice the size of the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center, which was completed in October 2008 after a troubled past. What the college suffered from the Kirbo Center, will pay off for the Student Wellness Center.

The college hired a construction management firm—Jones, Lang and LaSalle of Atlanta, Ga.—to ensure the project is completed within the college’s specifications and budget. Jones, Land and LaSalle then in turn hired Hastings-Chivetta Architects, which has built similar projects in 37 states for the past 20 to 30 years.

And the crowning touch was the hiring of Allstate Construction of Tallahassee, Fla., as the contractor of the project.

Its track record here in Decatur County has been stellar.

CEO and President Bill Weldon and his crew reworked the Kirbo Center, which is now a facility the community wanted from the beginning and a nice, attractive addition to the Bainbridge College campus. Allstate was also part of the joint venture that built the new Bainbridge High School, the county’s largest building project that had a remarkably low cost-overrun and change-order history.

The center’s design was formulated after input from students and facility, and the amenities not previously available for BC students will in the long run help in student recruitment and retention.

We look forward to the completion of the Student Wellness Center and the promise it brings.

And just as the center is scheduled to be completed in November 2010, get ready for another game-changer at Bainbridge College—a 10,000-square-foot academic building.

We look forward to it.

Traffic jams

One of the most unexpected occurrences Friday morning during the first day of school at the new Bainbridge High School was a mile-long traffic jam.

But it beats the high-speed highway scenario that many feared.

It’s still too early to tell how the traffic is going to play out at the new high school, but one thing was certain Friday—the presence of Bainbridge Public Safety officers directing traffic in the morning and stopping traffic in the afternoon to let students and parents exit the school was a major plus.

Kudos to the Bainbridge Public Safety Department and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office in making sure traffic flowed as slow—and as fast—as it could Friday morning without too many instances.

Now if the Department of Transportation will work with the Decatur County Board of Education to ensure that traffic flows as efficiently as possible, but most importantly, without any tragic consequences down the road.