LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Georgia Gwinnett College held a ceremony on Friday to break ground for a new Allied Health and Science Building.

A $30 million project, according to GCC's Salley Ramey, drew about 250 people to the celebration.

"We thank Governor Nathan Deal, our state legislators, the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents, and Chancellor Hank Huckaby for making this building possible," said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. "At this stage in the college's growth, this structure is critical to serving the needs of our expanding enrollment and helping us prepare for the future."

"When Georgia Gwinnett was established, the college made a commitment to the Gwinnett community to provide a baccalaureate degree in nursing, as well as other allied health programs, and to serve the growing health care needs of Gwinnett, as well as the state," said Diane White, dean of the School of Health Sciences. "This building makes these proposed programs possible."

The new building will raise the school's enrollment by around 9,400 students. That growth, Ramey said, is important to the Gwinnett area and the state of Georgia.

The Allied Health and Science building is set to open for the 2014 fall semester. It will stand three stories, include 91,000 square feet, and provide many facilities for students. Learning will take place in three physics labs, six biology labs, seven chemistry labs, four anatomy and physiology labs, and one lab for psychology, exercise science, IT systems and digital media.

Programs will be supported by a state-of-the-art simulation learning center with a central control room equipped with wireless technology for managing patient bed simulations, Ramey said.

"This building is more than just some brick and paint," said ceremony speaker Heather Pathak, a GGC biology major planning to go to medical school. "It gives you all the opportunity to be everything you want to be -- everything you dream to be. Students, you all deserve the best facilities and committed staff to help you along your journey. This is something I can guarantee you will find plenty of here at GGC."

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