Fairburn to build college campus

Wed, 09/26/2007 - 2:28pm
By: Ben Nelms

Fairburn City Council Sept. 24 agreed to initiate a $10 million project that will construct a downtown college campus designed to house Georgia Military College (GMC) and possibly other satellite campuses from area colleges and universities.

Plans call for GMC into move to the Fairburn-owned facility in October 2008.

The four-acre campus will be located on the site of the old Dodson Lawn & Farm Equipment business on West Broad Street and will eventually consist of four 18,400 square-foot brick classroom buildings, an 11,400 square-foot administrative building and two 2,000 square-foot retail buildings.

The initial undertaking will be construction of Phase 1, which will include the first two classroom buildings along West Broad and two retail sandwich and coffee shops to be located between them.

Also included is the three-story, colonial-style administration building that will be centered in the rear of the property and patterned after the old Campbell County Courthouse.

GMC indicated its desire to move into one of the classroom buildings in October 2008 and to utilize a portion of the administration building, said city administrator Jim Williams. Continuing conversations with other colleges and universities could result in a lease of the second classroom building, he said.

The council is considering financing for the city-owned campus from two sources. Fairburn would use $5 million of the $12 million it currently holds in reserve to finance half of the approximately $10 million needed for Phase 1. The balance needed for Phase 1, expected to be between $4-5 million, could be borrowed, Williams said.

The 10-year lease by GMC for its portion of the space would pay for a significant portion of the financed amount, he said. The lease of the second classroom building in Phase 1 would make up the difference, Williams added.

The initial $10 million cost will also provide for the necessary site preparation work across the entire property. Phase 2 buildings would not be constructed until the city gets a firm commitment from interested educational institutions.

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