Second hearing set on GMC site in Fayetteville
An Aug. 7 public hearing before the Fayetteville City Council that had Ga. Military College (GMC) proposing to construct a new campus in West Fayetteville came with few questions from council members. A second public hearing and a likely vote on the proposal will come Aug. 21.
Project representative Bill Foley, of Foley Design Associates, said 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 west side of the property which will link the two classroom buildings. Each of the classroom buildings will accommodate 500 students.
Foley said the site is part of a larger 40-acre tract situated to the east of Veterans Parkway and to the west of South Sandy Creek Road. The entire acreage will incorporate the new West Fayetteville development standards, Foley said.
“This will fit with the development of the surrounding property,” Foley said of the college campus proposal.
Asked by Councilman Jim Williams if the college will pay property taxes, Foley said property taxes will be on the tax rolls and will be paid.
The proposal received unanimous approval by the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission July 22.
Foley during the discussion said the GMC Foundation is also considering the purchase of additional property to the north of the campus site.
Expected to open in August 2015, 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 equidistance 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 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.