Published Wednesday, January 02, 2013
From Staff Reports
A look at headlines from the pages of The Newnan Times-Herald for 2012 shows a trend of construction activity — projects completed, planned and a couple delayed.
Despite an economic recession there is plenty of dirt moving and steel going up in Coweta County.
Among the biggest milestones are completion and opening of two hospitals — the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital on Poplar Road at Interstate 85 in May and opening of Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s new southeastern U.S. hospital on Parkway North between Newnan Crossing Bypass and I-85 in August.
Piedmont Newnan pulled off the massive undertaking of moving of remaining patients from its old Hospital Road location in Newnan in the spring without a hitch.
Not far south off I-85, construction was on schedule in late 2012 on two buildings whose completion will usher in a new era in Coweta County education. West Georgia Technical College’s stand-alone Coweta campus south of Newnan is planned to open Sept. 20, 2013.
The 38-acre Coweta campus – on Turkey Creek Road near the I-85 Moreland interchange – initially will be home to a 36,000-square-foot, state-funded building and the 47,000-plus square-foot Newnan Hospital Allied Health Care Building. Core, business/public service and health service classes are expected to make up the bulk of course offerings when the Coweta campus first opens.
“The ribbon cutting in fall 2013 will be the culmination of a process that has been the long-time dream of many,” Dawn Cook, WGTC’s vice president of institutional advancement, said recently. “We can’t wait to open Coweta County’s campus.”
Local investment group Orchard Hills Golf Properties LLC’s donation in 2009 of the Turkey Creek land tract — appraised at more than $1.5 million — was an outgrowth of local support for a stand-alone Coweta campus to match the county’s growing need for a skilled labor workforce.
WGTC has offered classes at the Coweta County School System’s Central Educational Center charter school since 2000, but demand for technical education has grown exponentially as skilled job openings have begun to outnumber qualified workers. The college has said its CEC operations will remain in place, offering core classes and adult education as well as courses in dental assisting, automotive, welding, cosmetology, patient care, culinary arts and commercial truck driving. The new Coweta campus will allow WGTC’s educational opportunities to expand and allow more coursework to meet the workforce needs of local business and industry.
Among other county projects, a November groundbreaking launched phase one development of the Brown’s Mill Battlefield park at the historic site south of Newnan. The phase one trail-head project includes the entrance drive, a turnaround, a parking lot and a small trail to a covered shelter measuring 20 by 20 feet with open sides and a concrete floor. There will also be trash cans, signage, and parking and safety markings. An additional 2,100 feet of trail will be constructed on the 105-acre site. Georgia Development Partners will do the construction.
The Battle of Brown’s Mill was the most significant Civil War engagement in Coweta County. It took place in late July 1864, starting with a skirmish along the railroad tracks east of downtown Newnan and then moving south to what is now Millard Farmer Road.
Construction is proceeding on a new Coweta County fire station at Madras. Site work was completed in June. The Coweta Board of Commissioners also voted in June to build a morgue at the 911 complex off Highway 34 East near the Whitlock soccer fields. The new Piedmont Newnan Hospital did not include morgue facilities, which existed at the old hospital on Hospital Road.
Newnan High School’s Class of 2012 graduated in May in the newly-rebuilt Drake Stadium.
Work was completed this fall on renovations to a historic Newnan residence that later served as offices for Newnan Hospital. The home at 74 Jackson Street, at the Clark Street intersection, will be the soon-to-open McRitchie-Hollis Museum that will be operated by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
The city of Newnan has crews completing a new section of sidewalk on Greenville Street, part of an extension of the streetscapes program, and crews have been moving utility poles and cutting trees to make way for a realignment of the Roscoe Road, Jackson Street, Sprayberry Road intersection north of downtown.
Among planned projects announced in recent months are a proposal to turn the old Newnan Hospital into the satellite campus for the University of West Georgia, which would move from its current home in Shenandoah Industrial Park. The state Board of Regents is expected to vote on the project in January. It would be coordinated by the City of Newnan.
Goodwill announced that it will put a store and career center in the old Save Rite grocery building at Thomas Crossroads. The building has been vacant for some years.
Among other retail center news, a section of stores at Newnan Pavilion at Highway 34 East and I-85 will be torn down to make way for a new sporting goods store. An Academy Sports and Outdoors will be built between the old Circuit City and PetSmart. A Fried Tomatoes restaurant will be filling the long-vacant out-parcel space that was formerly Johnny Carino’s and Pegleg Pauly’s Island Grill. The Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant closed in August 2006. Pegleg Pauly’s opened in that location in April 2007. It was open for just more than a year.
News in November was that Nally Honda is expected to be one of two new auto dealerships in the Bullsboro Drive/Hwy 34 area. And in December the Motel 6 was torn down off Parkway North, with word it will possibly be the site of a Nissan dealership. Construction continues for a new Don Jackson Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-Jeep-Fiat dealership on Hwy. 34 at Hollz Parkway. There were still no signs of work at the vacant auto dealership beside the county’s soccer fields.
An Atlanta-based company plans to open a Marriott hotel in Ashley Park across Newnan Crossing Bypass from the new Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Paramount Hospitality Management plans to start construction on a 92-unit TownePlace Suites by Marriott toward the end of the first quarter for 2013, with an opening scheduled in the first quarter 2014, company officials said in early December.
Headley Construction of Newnan was chosen in June to complete work on the Newnan Centre meeting facility being constructed by the city of Newnan adjacent to the Coweta School System’s Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road. The earlier contractor was fired and the project delayed. A spring 2013 opening is now planned.
In October it was learned the long-vacant, 62-acre Adesa Atlanta auto auction property on Raymond Hill Road near I-85 was bought by Euro Auctions USA.
Also in October, the Coweta Board of Education decided to delay building its proposed Corinth Road Middle School and will wait for an economic upswing.
In May Coweta school officials had hoped the county’s newest school might open as early as fall 2014. Preliminary architectural drawings of Corinth Road Middle School were being made available for view. Corinth Road is planned near the Blalock Lakes community and will be the county’s seventh middle school. The school system purchased 173 acres on Corinth Road several years ago and designated it as a future multi-school site. Corinth Road Middle School will require approximately 50 acres on the Bohannon Road side of the property.
The Heritage School this fall completed raising $3.8 million in a capital campaign. The project includes renovations to two lower school buildings, a six-classroom addition to Arnall-Mann Upper School building, parking lot and The Heritage Center, a competition-sized, multi-purpose arena seating 850-900.