The steel structure for the first building of the new West Georgia Technical College Carroll Campus was completed March 19 with the placement of the last beam – a signed steel girder hoisted into place high atop the three-story edifice.
Officials and guests from West Georgia Tech, the Technical College System of Georgia and local organizations joined general contractor McCarthy Construction and others for a brief signing ceremony prior to the lift.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has joined us today for your work in getting us to this point,” Interim WGTC President Pat Hannon said. “We have a great group of employees, the people working at the system office, our contractors, our architect, our legislators – thank you for each one for all the hard work. We would not be where we are today without your support.”
Guests at the event included Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier, State Property Officer Marty Smith, local county commissioners and representatives the boards of WGTC and the WGTC Foundation.
The new campus located in the Buffalo Creek Technology Park on the Carrollton Bypass will replace West Georgia Tech’s 52-year old campus on Newnan Road in three buildings totaling almost 150,000 square feet.
The building topped out last week is the main classroom building, a three-story brick and steel structure which will house the enrollment center including offices for admissions and financial aid personnel, along with labs for paramedicine and certified nursing assistant programs on the first floor. Also on the first floor will be Adult Education, which prepares students to obtain their high school equivalency through either the GED Test or HiSET.
The student center, bookstore and library will occupy a large portion of the second floor, with classrooms, computer labs and faculty offices filling the rest.
The top floor will include a large cosmetology salon and labs for chemistry, criminal justice, engineering and early childhood development. General classrooms will be scattered on all floors.
This building will be prominent to technology park visitors, facing a large roundabout already present on site. A two-story glass façade will welcome guests to the gray brick facility. The steel structure is visible already from the Highway 166 Bypass.
Foundation work is continuing on the large, single-story technical and industrial building of almost 62,000 square feet located behind the main building. This second building will house labs for trades and industrial programs including diesel equipment, welding, industrial systems, precision manufacturing and construction trades. A pedestrian bridge will connect the two buildings.
A third smaller building will provide space for maintenance equipment and staff. Large parking areas surround the buildings, with 693 spots proposed. A new driver training range will be constructed to support the commercial truck driving program.
“Every week, we have all observed this campus coming out of the ground and the excitement grows every time we share the progress,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kristen Douglas said. “The faculty and staff have had true ownership in this project because of the intentional solicitation of their input from the beginning and throughout the project.”
Douglas said instructors at the current Carroll Campus have been heavily involved with the planning and design of new classroom and lab spaces, with the goal of the campus to prioritize the academic areas on the new campus. She said one office on the current campus has been outfitted with sample furniture to get faculty and staff feedback on the type and style of furniture that is needed.
The campus sits on about 40 acres of the Technology Park donated by the Carroll County Development Authority. The campus site will fill the left side of the Technology Park, if facing it from the Highway 166 Bypass. The Carroll County Development Authority retains the right side of the Park and continues to market it for possible development.
Buffalo Creek marks the extreme left of the Park, behind the campus site. A portion of the Park there is in a floodplain and preserved as wetlands.
The new campus is scheduled to open in 2022 and replace the College’s 52-year-old campus on Newnan Road. Programs currently offered at the Newnan Road campus will relocate when the new campus opens.
West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers more than 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is one of the largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit www.westgatech.edu.