The contest is delayed among Sandy Springs and other north Fulton cities for a new Gwinnett Tech campus. Gov. Nathan Deal nixed bond funding for a design.
He vetoed the bond that would have channeled $3 million to the studies and drawings. He said designs shouldn’t be financed over 20 years.
“The design is short-term limited-life and does not result in a physical asset. The state’s priority should be to fund construction for existing projects for which we have already paid for the design,” he explained in his veto message.
On the same grounds, he vetoed similar bonds for five other technical colleges.
The idea for a north Fulton campus is not dead “by any means,” Gwinnett Tech spokeswoman Dana Urrutia said. In 2010, north Fulton was placed in Gwinnett Tech’s service area, and the school plans to build a campus in the area.
Sandy Springs City Council in January voted to offer to host that campus on Peachtree Dunwoody Road, adjacent to the North Springs MARTA station. By a 4 – 3 vote, the council also offered to contribute up $2.5 million dollars, to be matched by private donations.
It took Mayor Eva Galambos’ tie-breaking vote to approve sending the proposal to Gwinnett Tech. At the contentious public hearing, many opponents said taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be spent on luring a school. Supporters said it would bring investment to the community.
Roswell and Alpharetta pitched four possible sites between them. A pair of private interests also submitted ideas, including one for a Johns Creek campus. Gwinnett Tech will grade the proposals, but the site choice is up to the state technical college system board.
Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels said in a written statement: “We hope to see this included in next year’s [state] capital outlay request.”
In the meantime, she said, “Gwinnett Tech will also work with the community at large through private philanthropy to support our efforts for an eventual campus in north Fulton County.”
However, “this train has left the station,” said Sandy Springs City Councilman Gabriel Sterling, an opponent of the proposal.