F’ville junior college gets planners’ OK
A request by Georgia Military College that would put the first college built from the ground up in Fayette County received unanimous approval by the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission on July 22.
The plan for the GMC campus on the southwest side of the intersection of Veterans Parkway and South Sandy Creek Road was before commissioners for a rezoning request and preliminary plat approval. The unanimous vote came with little discussion.
If approved by the City Council in August, Fayette County’s first college built from the ground up will open in August 2015.
Foley Design Associates founder Bill Foley at a previous meeting told commissioners GMC wants to construct a 26,000 sq. ft. building on the 8.7-acre site. Once needed, plans call for the construction of an identical building and a small administration building on the north side of the property that will link the two classroom buildings.
The two classroom buildings will accommodate 1,000 students, GMC officials said in April.
Plans also call for 500 parking spaces for the two buildings and a multi-use path connecting the campus to Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Foley noted.
The campus will serve as home to all of the junior college’s regular courses, while providing an emphasis for the healthcare and entertainment industries. For GMC, the proximity to Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Pinewood Atlanta Studios could hardly be better since GMC Fayetteville will be located almost equidistant between those campuses.
Though a two-year college, GMC has been approved for a new four-year degree in applied science. That new degree program will be offered at the Fayetteville campus.
Citing anticipated population growth in the area, GMC President Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV in the April announcement 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.”
GMC’s Fayetteville location will add a strong educational component to an already-established business market in the area, which includes Piedmont Fayette Hospital. 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.
The Fayetteville campus will be GMC’s third location in metro Atlanta, including campuses in Fairburn and Stone Mountain.
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, 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.