Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus is located in the sleepy bedroom community of Dunwoody's single family residential district of Tilly Mill and Womack. The poor planning of the placement of this location has become evident by the steady increase of vehicular traffic whereby our road infrastructure is overwhelmed and grid locked leading all the way back to the interstate and beyond.
The college has just completed the demolition of the DeKalb School property that they obtained in the swap for Dunwoody Elementary and they are now attempting to convince the State Government and the Board of Regents to go forward with the new construction of two academic buildings and two separate parking structures, in two phases. If approved by the State, GPC would like to start the first phase of construction of the $28.6 Million dollar, four story academic building along Womack and the adjoining 600 car parking deck in early 2011, followed by an other similar building and another 600 car deck soon after as the photo above shows.
When the City Council learned of these plans we started taking immediate action by talking to GPC and learning everything we could of their plans. Knowing that GPC is a separate governmental agency and not subject to the control of Dunwoody zoning ordinances; it therefore would be difficult for us to stop their plans through our normal control measures. That being said, numerous conversations were held with GPC in order to determine how to correct the real issue, which is not the expansion but instead the students cars on our crowded two lane streets, that based on our citizens wishes, will forever be two lane roads.
Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli, President of GPC and Council have been broaching a number of items like limiting the number of parking permits, shuttle buses from remote parking lots like First Baptist Church of Atlanta and other operational improvements like the movement of driveways and egress improvements.
Tonight's meeting on the college and the related traffic was really an impromptu meeting leading up the the January 25th meeting where Dr. Tricoli himself will officially present the expansion plans for the college to the community. The city being in a hard spot as far as forcing concessions from GPC that will have long term improvements for the residents, the best solution may be to encourage the State of Georgia not pass the funding mechanism to build the expansion.
After tonight's meeting expect the Mayor and City Council to be more vocal about what they are doing about GPC instead of just attempting to work behind the scenes with the powers that be. If we the Council believed that our recommendation that the expansion of Georgia Perimeter College be moved to another location in the City or possibly another location in the suburbs (someone said Roswell would be a key place for GPC expansion) would be effective then that would probably be the ultimate goal of Council. Barring GPC doing what we ask, just because we asked, what can we the city do to help alleviate the traffic woes that the students cause to the residents. There were a number of suggestions made at tonight's meeting and trust me that they will all be on the table for us to contemplate.
Come early to the meeting on the 25th as I am guessing it will be tough to find a seat by meeting time.
PS: Allow me take a shot at the first question. Dr. Tricoli, based on the fact the first paragraph at the top right of the document states that structures are designed to be environmentally friendly with an emphasis on the use of mass transportation, walking, and biking. If that is the case, why do we need 1,200 spaces for automobiles?
Georgia Perimeter College expansion plans Dunwoody Campus