Group VI to build Fairburn campus

Thu, 11/29/2007 - 4:19pm
By: Ben Nelms

Fairburn’s new college campus moved one step closer to reality Nov. 26 when city council members voted unanimously to hire Peachtree City-based Group VI to design and build the first phase of Fairburn’s downtown educational complex. Georgia Military College (GMC) will lease one of the two-story classroom buildings and a portion of the administration building beginning in October 2008. The city council approved a maximum of $8 million for the project.

The initial undertaking will be construction of Phase 1, which will include two 18,400 square-foot, two-story brick classroom buildings along West Broad and two 2,000 square-foot retail sandwich and coffee shops to be located between them. Also included is a three-story, 11,400 square-foot colonial-style administration building that will be centered in the rear of the four-acre property and patterned after the old Campbell County Courthouse. Phase 1 will be completed by October 2008. Future phases will include construction of two additional classroom buildings to be located on either side of the administration building at the rear of the campus.

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 four-acre campus will be located on the site of the old Dodson Lawn & Farm Equipment business on West Main Street.

The council voted to borrow $10 million on Williams’ recommendation. The additional funds beyond the $8 million allocated for construction would provide money for the potential purchase of additional property and accomodations for off-site parking, Williams said. The council originally considered using city reserves for the construction. That idea was ruled out once Williams announced that a restricted bond issue was available through Georgia Municipal Assocation at 3.5-4.0 percent interest. The city opted to finance the project since it receives five percent interest on money in its $12 million reserve account.

“The city’s money is generating five percent,” Williams said. “It would be foolish to take money from our reserves when we can get a loan for less money.”

Williams said GMA expects to close on the loan in mid-January. The loan would come with a 10-15 year term, he said. The 10-year lease by GMC for its portion of the space at fair market price would pay for a significant portion of the financed amount, he said.

The total amount approved by the council was $8,009,921. Of that amount, $982,505 is slated for site work, $2,256,208 for each of the two classroom buildings, $220,000 for each of the two retail buildings, $1,995,000 for the administration building and $80,000 for a payment and performance bond.

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CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 1:34am.

That's all I'm going to say.

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