The Not-So-Little Engine That Could

District 1 Highlight

submitted by Richard Osborne, AICP, District 1 Director

During the last 15 years, there has been an explosion in post-secondary education in Georgia. Every county in the State has been positively affected by the now Not-So-Little Engines That Could, from the best-known institutions to the technical schools to the two-year colleges. One example in Northwest Georgia is Georgia Highlands College (GHC).

Founded in Rome as Floyd Junior College in 1970, GHC serves more than 5,000 students as a two-year, associate degree-granting institution of the University System of Georgia. GHC has added other teaching sites over the years, and now also provides instruction in a 100,000 square feet facility in Cartersville. The building, opened in 2005, is the first of several planned facilities on the site. The Cartersville campus is ideally located on State Road 20 near Interstate 75, across from the site of the new Clarence Brown Civic Center, a 25,000 square feet LEED-certified facility scheduled to open in November. Classes are also offered in Dallas, Douglasville, and Marietta.

Institutes of higher learning can serve as engines of economic development and community redevelopment. One session to check out at the March conference in Macon is “Utilizing Non-traditional Partnerships for Community Revitalization”. Examples will be given from the City government of Fort Valley and Fort Valley State University, which have formed a dynamic duo for community development activities.

Looking ahead, mark your calendar for the May 12th Planners Luncheon at the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, “Planning for Parks and Greenspace in Tough Times”. Discussion will include challenges and opportunities for planning to add or make improvements to parks and greenspace in communities. Examples will be given from the Rome-Floyd County Parks & Recreation department, as well as from the City of Cartersville Parks & Recreation department. In addition, current and near-future federal funding opportunities for greenspace and tree plantings will be discussed by a representative of Rolling Hills RC&D (Resource Conservation and Development) Council.