GMC unveils its West F’ville college campus plan


Georgia Military College announced its intention in April to construct a college campus in Fayetteville. The plan for the campus on the west side of the intersection of Veterans Parkway and South Sandy Creek Road was included in a staff report at the June 24 meeting of the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission.

If approved later this summer, Fayette County’s first college built from the ground up will open in August 2015.

Foley Design Associates founder Bill Foley 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.

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 Fayetteville 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 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 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.

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