There is collegiate competition brewing in north Fulton County.

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos and other north Fulton mayors are fighting to be the home of a new technical college campus.

School officials with Gwinnett Technical College are looking to locate a $42.5 million satellite campus in north Fulton with about 5,000 students.

College President Sharon Bartels presented the idea during a Sept. 16 meeting of the North Fulton Mayors’ Association.

Bartels called the new campus a “primo idea for economic development in north Fulton.”

The new campus, she said, would strengthen work force development and the local economy. The college, headquartered in Lawrenceville, offers more than 120 programs including health sciences, early childhood education, criminal justice and the culinary arts.

“The looming question,” Bartels said. “Where is it going to be?”

Bartels said the college is looking for about 100 acres for the new campus. The winning city likely will have to give up cash or land to secure the college.

“I think we have a fabulous prospect,” Galambos said at a Sept. 7 Sandy Springs City Council meeting. That night, Galambos appointed a five-member committee to consider sites around the city for the college. That committee, led by Charlie Roberts, has already begun discussions.

“It’s going to be really competitive,” said Roberts, who owns a real estate development and construction business in Sandy Springs. “I’m really excited about this. This is a life-changing opportunity.”

Galambos said that the city could build a multi-story building along Ga. 400. She also suggested the campus be located near Northwood Drive, just south of I-285 on Roswell Road.

“This may be a chance to get rid of some of the dilapidated apartments,” Galambos said.

Specific details about what the college is looking for will be released in October. The North Fulton Chamber of Commerce is helping to draft a request, which will be released to all the north Fulton cities at the same time.

“We are really looking forward to receiving the RFP (request for proposal),” Galambos said.

The cities will have 90 days to prepare an offering to the college. State leaders will review the proposals next year.

It will be at least a year before Gwinnett Tech is expected to put a north Fulton campus on its capital projects list.

The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia recently released its project list for 2011, and the Gwinnett Tech campus was not included. Bartels said the campus was No. 5 on a second list and should receive funding in the next couple of years.

“That is amazing,” she said.

It will be at least 2012 before construction begins.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk is Editor of Reporter Newspapers. She can be reached at editor@reporternewspapers.net