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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.



Why are we getting what seems to be a low class higher education facility in Fayette? I thought this was supposed to be SCAD or something a bit more, uh, respectable.

Nothing against GMC, but this school doesn't seem to be anywhere in the realm of prestigious.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Gee whiz. I guess you don't like MARTA either.

Live free or die!

You don't need a rating system. But common sense can easily dictate what is and isn't going to be a nice school. Look at the programs offered at this school and look at the locations of the campuses. Does either of those things sync up with a school any significant number of Fayette county students or parents would likely to go to? No.

This school has zero appeal to Fayette County residents. And just to nip it in the bud, it has zero appeal to Fayette County residents regardless of race. What it comes down to is this is a school for low income citizens. WHICH IS GREAT AND WONDERFUL. Education for everyone however they can get it. I'm not looking down because I certainly didn't study at a prestigious university.

However, is this what Fayette County needs? This is a bad idea. We have one of the top performing school systems in the state, why are we

going with what is probably the lower rung of the state's higher education system? Its a bad fit.

MARTA? I think my thoughts on transit would give some folks a heart attack around here...

I held off commenting all day, but you make a good point. We have good schools and I would think a majority of our students go on to 4 year colleges.

My guess is the studio wants something more in line with a trade school. It will be interesting to see how many FC residents apply.

Personally, I am looking forward to seeing a listing of the classes they plan to offer. I still enjoy taking a class now and then and having something close by would be nice.

It will be interesting to find out why the city/county thinks its a good fit. Once we start seeing commuters coming in to take classes, how long will it be until the students start asking for a transit bus to and from ATL.

Know what this sounds like? Exactly like many of the PTC dwellers "nase hoch" comments about new business of any sort! While my own kids did not attend any Jr/2 yr college, I wouldn't have objected if they had so chosen.

The cost of secondary education? Those that can afford the prestige schools can afford the Atl commute or housing. Lets get others a degree and a better wage who live around here. At a price that won't bankrupt them till they are 40.

Oliver Hardy

I took a look at the schools programs, and you're right, nursing is on the list, and that will be good. Tax paying businesses are also good. Does a state school pay full taxes?

I also gave a question from anyone who works at any hospital. Are they downsizing the staff for registered nurses and going more with CNA's

Just remember my comments 5 years down the road when you drive through the campus and see 90% of the cars have Clayton and Fulton tags in the parking lot.

brewster's picture

Coweta and Spaulding county tags OK as long as not on pickup trucks?

they have better access to other schools.

[quote] they have better access to other schools.[/quote]

As do the Clayton and Fulton folks you refer to. GMC for one already has a campus in Fairburn.

One of the largest career fields is medicine. GMC will be educating to staff the hospital and associated offices, too. I see that as a plus. That, and they pay taxes. Better than some other deals. I say lets get them up and running.

Not sure where you get your "facts" regarding GMC's academic quality tikigod, but it is recognized as a good academic institution.

And the tie in to Pinewood will benefit the school, the studio and job growth here in Fayette County.

The most notable alumni is Oliver Hardy.

Lets check the facts. Its a trade school with the majority of its campuses in very rural areas. Is that a great fit for a county who's median income is $81,242 who is very much apart of the 9th largest metro in the US?

This is a school for residents outside the county. Mark my words, the overwhelming majority of students will be from outside of Fayette County. Which I guess is fine, but the point still stands, this is not a school with the residents of Fayette County in mind.

NUK_1's picture

You consider FAIRBURN a "rural area? It's mostly an urban area and has been for several years. Milledgeville is hardly rural either, and also home to Georgia State College and University. Not that I would live in either area, but been to those two GMC's because my son got his 2 yr degree from GMC and then on to KSU. Plenty of FC folks have been through the GMC Fairburn campus. You're being ignorant here and I just got to the point I couldn't handle it. I can name about 10 FC co-workers I know personally besides my son that graduated from there and I'm no social butterfly.

I guess I am just an old dude, but I recall the days of GSU and Clayton state both being junior colleges only and people not griping on how they didn't fit into the community, especially now since GSU IS the downtown community with all of their expansion and taking over abandoned crap-buildings and turning them into something much nicer and actually productive. Clayton State also went 4 yr years ago with GSU and is one of the better things of Clayco.

I don't get the snobbery or the lack of knowledge about how FC citizens can't "demand" what college comes here or not. Colleges and landlords and existing zoning laws dictate that, not someone's demands of whether they are allegedly good enough or not.

Lets take a poll of Fayette County graduates or soon to be graduates, how many will be going to GMC?

Ok, I am betting on a very small number.

So, assuming I am right(and I will would be very happy to be wrong), that would mean that this is not a college for Fayette County residents.

At this point, I would be willing to bet money that a overwhelming majority of enrollment will be from folks outside the county. That is my ONLY point in this discussion. The college is a bad fit for Fayette.

And I apologize if you feel like I am belittling a degree from GMC.

PTC Observer's picture

So, following your logic, no school is better than GMC because "outsiders" might attend? What exactly would be a good example of a school where only Fayette residents would attend? What would be a "good fit" for Fayette?

Now, please list the schools that are examples in other communities and counties that "fit" their locations. I don't know of any school that doesn't attract "outsiders".

I am afraid that you are suffering from some xenophobic tendencies. It'll be alright so don't worry too much and our county will be a better place because of this new campus.

Yes, that's its PTC. Congrats on reading past all my words and figuring out the "real" point.

What are your thoughts on continuing the likely expansion of MARTA into Clayton County with a direct bus line into PTC? Oh, you don't like that? Guess you're a xenophobe.

And I have given plenty of examples of better fits. GSU, KSU, SCAD, Clayton State, Emory, GT, etc all would be schools a significant number of graduates from Fayette County schools would likely be interested in.

You and most posters on here don't seem to understand the point. Its not that we have to keep the big bad "outsiders" away. Its that this school's greatest appeal will very likely be to people that don't live here. So, as I said earlier, that is not a good fit for Fayette.

PTC Observer's picture

Should I ignore your written word then?

"overwhelming majority of enrollment will be from folks outside the county. That is my ONLY point in this discussion."

I actually took your words literally, or were you attempting to express something else?

All of the schools you list would draw more students from outside the county as well, so what's your point?

At this point your "argument" is a bit illogical based on what you are writing here.


"overwhelming majority of enrollment will be from folks outside the county. That is my ONLY point in this discussion."

Did I say anything along the lines of building a wall or preventing people from outside the county coming in. No.

I'm struggling to further clarify the above quote. How about this - The proposed school built in the middle of Fayette County is a school that probably doesn't appeal to a significant number of Fayette County citizens. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of students will be from outside the county. I believe there will not be a significant number of students from Fayette County relative to the fact that the school is in the middle of Fayette County.

And you are right, the other colleges I listed would attract folks from all over the metro. HURRAY! and Who cares? The nice thing about those other schools is that they would (in my own assumptions I admit) be a WHOLE LOT MORE ATTRACTIVE TO FAYETTE COUNTY CITIZENS.


NUK_1's picture

There are adults who never had any kind of college degree that go there, which was my co-worker reference above. Those people decided to better themselves and get a degree, whether it was 2 yr an then nothing else or go to 4yr. Most of these people were in the 40-50 yr old range too.

I think it's an asset and you can't pick and choose which colleges want to locate anywhere in the first place. I've had to listen to all the brain-dead in PTC howling for WHOLE FOODS or TRADER JOE'S when neither has any remote interest at all of locating here. Can't just "wish" it to happen and sometimes it comes true.

I think GMC will be good for those who aren't ready to live on a college campus(plenty in PTC/FC, the "millennial generation") or adults looking to get more skills.

I get your points, but respectfully disagree and let's celebrate ANY college being there. I remember when PTC went all-out to just get a pretty tiny religious-based college and failed.

Sounds good to me Nuk.

I do agree, you can't just wish developments to be.

What? Oh No Matilda, tell me it ain't so!

is a long time pilot with Delta, mother holds a very responsible position, long time residents of Peachtree City. This young man graduated from GMC several years ago, went into the military and has done himself and his country proud. He is also furthering his career while in the military. Good enough for me.

If I am not mistaken, most plumbers are now making more than many pilots as well as MBA's who are having a problem finding a position. I know if my house is flooding with water, I am going to call that plumber, and where he learned his trade is not going to be a big priority for me as long as he is qualified. PLUMBER=NECESSITY MBA=not so much so. But both do have a place in our society and I look down on neither.

Fantastic. I'm sure there are plenty success stories from GMC. There is nothing wrong with the college. Its just not a good fit for Fayette.

Let's check some more facts--how about you tell us about your degree level and the source of such.

A pretty worthless BA from a small state university. Does that help?

No, not really, but thanks for your honest reply.

[Quote]Lets check the facts. Its a trade school with the majority of its campuses in very rural areas. [/quote]

Actually GMC is a Liberal Arts Junior College. And while I have no numbers to quote (And if you do please share) when my son attended the one in Fairburn there were quite a few Fayette students. In fact the counselor from Open Campus stated that many Fayette students went the path that my son did. A year at GMC and then on to other locations. I think you're judging the entire GMC chain by the one in Fairburn. And that really isn't fair. Most colleges, even those you would prefer to locate here, have remedial classes that attract the people that you don't want here. Take a look at the link that borntorun provided and check the ratings of GMC. They are not bad.

Its a fine school by those metrics, I just don't think its going to be a big hit with Fayette County graduates.

WOW! Aren't we arrogant? This is Fayette County. We'll accept nothing less than Harvard or Yale. My son had problems his last year of high school and did not graduate on time. Thanks to the program open campus he did graduate. And after a year at GMC and getting his grades back up he went on to graduate from a more "prestigious" college. And judging by the number of kids that were at open campus at the same time he was I'll venture to say that not all Fayette kids are straight A students and need a second chance sometimes. Heaven forbid that we are "TOO GOOD" to help these kids. Or even those that think that a 2 year degree is enough for them. I for one did OK with my 2 year degree.

PTC Observer's picture

I'll take GMC any day over Harvard or Yale, there are so many reasons why I couldn't go into them all here. I think you just need to look at the social engineering graduates coming out of the Ivy League.

These elitists have brought us to our current state of affairs in this country. All simply because they are so much brighter than the masses.

Calm down and think for a second.

[quote]Calm down and think for a second.[/quote]

OK what am I to think about? You talk as though we can only have one college in Fayette County so heaven forbid we "settle" for GMC. To my knowledge if we "settle" for GMC and another more prestigious college comes along can we not take them also? Please explain your position further. I'm willing to listen.

Sure, another college could come in. But is that There wasn't a need or desire for it before the studio, so I kind of doubt there will be more than one in any form of the near future.

It very much is settling. We were told the education component was going to be SCAD, or GSU, or Clayton State. Instead we get GMC.

Ask graduating students of Fayette County schools what their choices are in post-secondary education. I will be quite surprised if there is any significant number that wants to go to GMC. Its not for Fayette County residents.

into the big name schools. Having worked in the academic arena for many years, one thing I learned was that not all students were college material, regardless of what Mom and Dad think. Even if your child is a decent student, the best path, financially, is to go to a junior (2yr) college and then go on to a more 'notable' college/university for the last two or Master's Ph.D, MD, etc. The first two years are always the basics and going to a jr college for those years can help a student build up a good GPA, learn study habits, etc. I am sure if we checked we would find many leaders in their fields who started their college careers at a junior college. No stigma there, unless the student or parent is only interested in bragging rights.

How about respectable, noteworthy, recognizable? Maybe that will calm poster's knee jerk reactions so they can actually think about the point here.

How about a school like GSU, KSU, GT, Clayton State? Those are prestigious to me. That sounds a lot better than a trade school that seems to focus on very rural areas.

Its surprising folks in Fayette are fine with settling with this school and not demanding more. This isn't a school for the residents of Fayette County.

EDIT - I forgot to add, prestigious ?_? elite. Look it up.

I love the fact that Fayette County will be getting a "community college". Where do people get the idea that all FC residents go to "prestigious" schools like UGA or Emory. I know a lot of kids who went to Griffin Tech(Now Southern Crescent) and have great jobs and are not drowning in debt like many of their friends who went to 4 year schools. I went to a community college before going off to Auburn and it was great (as cool as Auburn was I really missed the structure of working and commuting). I graduated with only $1000 in Student loans and was able to work and save money. My youngest would have loved a community college nearer to home but went to GSU since it was about the same drive time as Clayton State. He knew he was not ready for the campus experience and based on his older brother's student debt did not want to get into that cycle. The community college were I lived gave kids a change to get a lot of their core classes out of the way and gave technical students a chance to study things like HVAC, Auto Repair etc. I don't understand why the middle class equates education with 4 years of on-campus living. It is about education "stupid".

on this site who have said GMC is a bad idea. For some reason Tiki seems almost rabid about this not being a 'fit' for Fayette county. Hey, I live in PTC and Fayetteville and PTC are great places to live but it is not Palm Beach or any other rich enclave. Most of the people are hard working people or retirees who were hard working. As I have said on here several times, having worked for years in the academic sector, at a four year university and also at a junior college, the smart way to go is to attend a junior (2yr) college for your core subjects and if you feel the need, go to a university for your next two years and Graduate, Medical etc., afterward. Ask any student who attended a four year college and you will find that most of their first two years they did not even see a professor. Many of the classes are held in huge auditoriums with several hundred students and an a T.I. if you are lucky. Also, if you were to check you would learn that many students who go to a big four year college either flunk out or do poorly because they are thrown into the university setting from high school. Suddenly there is all this freedom and no one insisting you study or even attend classes--then grading period arrives and reality hits hard. Very often this is when mom and dad yank junior out and send him to a junior college til he gets his priorities straight.

Tiki mentions SCAD as an example of a fine school and it is, but does he/she not realize that students attend there from all over and are from all walks of life, all ethnicities, etc.? What he seems to fear will happen if GMC comes to Fayetteville. And if you look at SCAD from all angles it could technically be called a technical school......

"overwhelming majority of enrollment will be from folks outside the county. That is my ONLY point in this discussion."

Did I say anything along the lines of building a wall or preventing people from outside the county coming in. No. Maybe you inserted those sentiments in my thoughts, but that is not my point.

I'm struggling to further clarify the above quote. How about this - The proposed school built in the middle of Fayette County is a school that probably doesn't appeal to a significant number of Fayette County citizens.


How about that bus line to PTC?

PTC Observer's picture

accept that argument, but we won't know until it's actually built. Will we? Are you afraid to find out?

I don't think we should keep buses from coming to PTC, as long as those buses aren't funded by government. Any private business that wants to bring bus service to PTC would be ok with me.

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