Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos wanted another shot at luring a North Fulton branch of Gwinnett Technical College, but the prize has gone to a rival, Alpharetta.

Gwinnett Tech officials on Oct. 1 announced that the Technical College System Board has approved buying 25 acres in Alpharetta as a site for its new satellite campus. The property will be located at the intersection of Old Milton Parkway and Georgia 400.

The campus is expected to serve 10,000 students, the college announced.

“We believe we’ve identified an ideal location in our North Fulton County service area for our future campus — a site that provides both needed capacity and is convenient and accessible for area residents. We now look forward to the next steps in this process and the ultimate approval and purchase of the property,” Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels said in a statement.

The announcement comes as Sandy Springs continues its economic development push. The City Council is finalizing plans to hire an economic development director. The city’s Development Authority recently applied for state grant funding to seal the deal with CBS Corporation to locate the company’s IT and software services center.

Galambos has been an advocate of the city making a bid for the campus and in June reintroduced the idea to the city council. City and Sandy Springs/Perimeter Commerce Officials were said to be working on the proposal, which included a $5 million incentive provided by the city. In 2011 the council narrowly approved the plan for a Gwinett campus, voting 4-3 in favor with the help of Galambos’ tie breaking vote.

The city’s pursuit of the Gwinnett Tech campus in 2011 touched off a heated debate in the community.

Gov. Nathan Deal later nixed plans to build a North Fulton campus by vetoing bond funding.

Gwinnett Tech will soon move forward with its plans to create the new Alpharetta campus.

“The recommended purchase will now be submitted to the State Property Commission for approval, with the transaction ultimately closed by the State Attorney General’s office. The expected timeline for both actions to be completed is between six to nine months,” a statement from the college says.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of