Published Sunday, March 24, 2013
West Georgia Technical College's Coweta campus will soon be a reality – offering classes in several career areas and a full adult education program.
Two buildings are going up at the campus located south of Newnan off Turkey Creek Road near Interstate 85. "The state building is a classroom facility. It's about 36,000 square feet. It's projected to be completed by the end of the month," said Dawn Cook, WGTC’s vice president of institutional advancement.
The second building, the Allied Health Building, is being funded by the West Georgia Technical College Foundation. That building will have 47,000 square feet of space. In addition to classrooms outfitted for health professions, there also will be "administrative offices and economic development as well as adult education," Cook said.
Health programs to be offered at the local campus include the emergency medical technician course, geriatric care, registered nursing and physical therapy assisting. Other areas include business administration, criminal justice, early childhood development and learning and computer technology.
Cook said core classes in English, psychology and other disciplines will also be offered.
WGTC and its predecessor, West Central Technical College, have been offering classes at Central Educational Center in Newnan for several years. Currently, WGTC has 971 students enrolled at CEC.
"Based on calculations, the number of students attending classes in Coweta County will grow dramatically once the new campus is completed," Cook said.
Cook said the campus will have a positive economic impact for Coweta. More local students will be able to stay in the community, and commuting students from other counties will buy books, food and fuel as they travel to and from classes.
WGTC will be looking toward providing trained workers for the growing health care industry in Coweta County – the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente, among others. "We're really excited to be able to train the workforce for Coweta County," Cook said.
She said that training includes not just medical fields, but support personnel in accounting, clerical support, heating/ air and maintenance.
Economic development will be a key focus of the new campus. The economic development center on the campus will work with the Coweta County Development Authority, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and other entities to promote Coweta as a location for industries and businesses.
"Typically, the local technical college is one of the first stops for" prospects, Cook said. The Coweta County Community Room at the campus will showcase products manufactured and produced in the county and will "help with selling Coweta County to investors and business prospects," she added.
The technical school has sponsored local adult education classes for years, but always in space borrowed from the county school system or some other entity. "The classes have been shifted and moved around many times," Cook said.
The new campus will include space designated for adult education. The permanent location will add stability for students, and Cook said a goal also is to help students finishing their general equivalency diploma work to proceed to credit vocational programs on the same campus.
Support for the local campus continues to grow. Early in March, the Coweta County Hospital Authority gave $100,000 to WGTC for its nursing program. The school offers both licensed practical nursing and registered nursing programs.