Georgia Southern breaks ground for Military Science building

Johnny Lu

Georgia Southern broke ground on the new Military Science building on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

For years, the Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) Eagle Battalion at Georgia Southern held its program inside a series of trailers neighboring the IT building.

“It’s been a long time coming, but Georgia Southern University finally has the right facility for their ROTC students and cadets,” Representative Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro) said.

Since its emergence in 1980, the GSU Army ROTC Program has pursued its one mission of commissioning future leaders in the U.S. Army. As the largest non-military college ROTC program in the Southeastern United States and the largest Army ROTC Nursing program in the nation, GSU’s award-winning Eagle Battalion recruits exclusively the highest quality students in helping them graduate with both a degree as well as a gold bar.

As part of Georgia’s $21 billion state budget, GSU was approved to build a new Military Science Building for the division. Following Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s signing of the budget bill back in April of 2014, which included a $9.5 million funding for GSU, budgets were allocated to allow the construction of the facility without raising student fees. A state-of-the-art, 32,000 square foot building will replace the Battalion’s current 10,000 square foot trailer facility.

“This funding addresses a great need for the Eagle Battalion ROTC Program,” GSU Military Science professor and LTC Erik Kjonnerod said. “Despite the toughest part being the acquirement of sponsorship and promotion, the efforts of those involved in this project have given us a world-class facility at Georgia Southern for our cadets to better aid in their development.”

Construction is slated to begin in January of next year. Adjacent to Highway 301, the new Military Science facility will be located on the corner of Old Register Road and Forest Drive. The Military Science building will consist of a multitude of classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, storage spaces, meeting and study rooms, and a large auditorium. 

“This is a great opportunity to see support all the way from state level officials down to GSU,” Cadet Battalion Commander Shaun Ferguson said. “With the ROTC’s recent century-long anniversary, it’s extremely humbling to have the presence of Dr. Bartels here with us at the Groundbreaking Ceremony.”

Georgia Southern Interim President Dr. Jean Bartels said that GSU was able to put this project together with both the right resources and supporters. 

“This is a program that has national, regional and state recognition,” Bartels said.