Fall 2015 enrollment target for F’ville’s 1st jr. college: 1,000 students

Fayette County is getting its first built-to-order college campus.

Georgia Military College (GMC) said April 11 it intends to construct a campus in the West Fayetteville area near Pinewood Atlanta Studios and Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Initial enrollment planned for GMC’s fall 2015 opening is 1,000 students.

Fayette’s first full-scale college campus will serve as home to all of the junior college’s regular courses, while tailoring the curriculum to the healthcare and entertainment industries as needed. For GMC, the proximity to Piedmont Fayette and Pinewood could hardly be better since GMC Fayetteville will be located almost equidistant between the two campuses.

Group VI Development and Promaker Development Group will be the developer for the project.

Group VI co-founder Jim Pace on Monday said the current plan calls for two buildings, with the first to total 27,000 sq. ft. The second building will be constructed at a later date, Pace said.

The Fayetteville campus will be GMC’s third location in metro Atlanta, including campuses in Fairburn and Stone Mountain.

GMC opened its Fairburn campus in late 2008. With offices in the separate administration building, GMC in less than two years had an enrollment of more than 700 students and had essentially outgrown its 18,200 sq. ft. classroom building.

GMC Fayetteville will offer all of the coursework and online programs offered at its other campuses, taught by full-time and adjunct faculty.

“In addition, at each of our GMC locations, we work with the community to identify the needs of their particular workforce,” said Mike Holmes, GMC vice president for academic affairs. “We plan to do the same in Fayetteville, tailoring our curriculum to offer relevant entertainment, healthcare and other coursework as needed.”

GMC officials met with members of the Fayetteville City Council and city staff on April 10.

“I’m pleased to say our meeting was highly productive and I’m more convinced than ever that opening a new GMC campus in Fayetteville will be a ‘win’ for all involved,” GMC President Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV said. “I’m also greatly looking forward to working in close partnership with Fayetteville leaders to bring this project to fruition.”

The project is expected to take the form of a staff report later this month, followed by a potential recommendation by the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission in May. The project could be presented to the City Council in June.

Citing anticipated population growth in the area, Caldwell said, “We’re continuously evaluating areas of the state where there’s a need for the educational benefits we offer: open enrollment, small class sizes, affordability and relevant curriculum programs. We saw such an opportunity in West Fayetteville, so we conducted our due diligence and formulated a project plan accordingly.”

The new GMC campus will be located on approximately seven acres on the southwest side of the intersection of South Sandy Creek Road and Veterans Parkway.

GMC’s Fayetteville location will add a strong educational component to an already-established business market in the area, which includes Piedmont Fayetteville Hospital, with more than 1,000 employees. Additionally, Pinewood Atlanta Studios, a multimillion-dollar, full-service film and entertainment studio poised to create thousands of jobs and boost the area’s population significantly, arrived in Fayetteville in early 2014, the GMC press release said.

GMC officials said that, pending City Council approval, construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion by late spring 2015 and classes commencing in August 2015. Initial enrollment is expected to be approximately 1,000 students.

GMC is the state’s second largest, two-year, public junior college with campuses in Milledgeville, Augusta, Fairburn, Warner Robins, Valdosta and Columbus, extension centers in Madison, Sandersville, and Stone Mountain, and an online campus program. Its enrollment includes more than 8,000 civilian students at these locations, plus 250 junior college cadets and 500 prep school students at the main Milledgeville campus.

For information about GMC visit https://www.gmc.cc.ga.us.