Plans progress for Gwinnett Tech North Fulton campus

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett Technical College recently got the green light from the state technical college board to buy about 25 acres in Alpharetta and build a new satellite campus.

Located at the intersection of Old Milton Highway and Ga. 400, the site can support four three-story buildings and necessary parking to serve up to 10,000 students, according to officials with the institution.

Gwinnett Tech's president, Sharon Bartels, said the location is "ideal" for the future campus.

"We now look forward to the next steps in this process and the ultimate approval and purchase of the property," Bartels said.

After Gwinnett Tech's service area was expanded to include North Fulton County in June 2010, the college indicated its interest for a campus in the area. As a result of its interest, the Technical College System of Georgia approved a recommendation Sept. 26 from Gwinnett Tech's North Fulton County Site Selection Committee.

The next step is for the recommended purchase to be submitted to the state property commission for approval, with the transaction ultimately closed by the state attorney general's office. The expected time line is between six to nine months.

For more than a year, Gwinnett Tech has offered selected continuing education programs like building operator certification and patient care technician. More than 250 residents are curretly taking courses in Gwinnett Tech's adult education program at the former Milton High School.

Officials with the technical college said that discussions will continue between Gwinnett Tech leadership and North Fulton employers to determine which college credit programs and continuing education courses will be offered to support short-term training needs and future employment demands.