Students at Georgia Military College Columbus Campus are hard at work in class and studying, but they are doing it all in a temporary space. However, Thursday marks a step toward having a permanent place to call home.
"It's an exciting day not only for Georgia Military College, but for the city of Columbus, and more importantly, the young men and women in Columbus who want to advance themselves," said Georgia Military College President, Major General Peter Boylan.
Boylan and other officials from the school and city broke ground on this plot of land off Blackmon road in Columbus on Thursday morning.
Georgia Military College students like Matthew Williams cannot wait until October when the $5 million facility is expected to be finished.
"We are really ecstatic because we are in a rented campus right now and to have our own campus it kind of brings a lot of the legitimacy in saying, 'I go there,'" said Williams
Some neighbors who live right next to the land have been concerned about possible diminished property values and increased traffic.
However, Ron Hundley, the Columbus Campus Director, says the students will respect the community.
"Our students are mature adults. They are going to respect this community and be a part of it. We are going to have an open house where we are going to invite the community in and see what we are and what we are doing," said Hundley.
Hundley says the new facility means more opportunities. The school currently serves about 250 students. According to the director, the new facility will have space for up to 650 students, but with online courses, they will be able to teach a total of 1,000 students.
Class will start in the new facility January 2013. Officials say they hope to have an open house in February for the public.