MARTA, Georgia Piedmont Technical College discussing campus at Kensington Station
Officials with Georgia Piedmont Technical College and MARTA are discussing the possibility of a secondary GPTC campus at the Kensington MARTA station.
While the idea itself isn’t new, both parties have acknowledged they are in talks about the project becoming part of a Transit Oriented Development at the station.
“MARTA is working with GPTC about the possibility of having a secondary campus located at/near the Kensington Station—this has been discussed publicly,” MARTA spokesperson Alisa Jackson told Decaturish. “I also was told that there is a cooperation agreement with MARTA, DeKalb County, GPTC and (the Atlanta Regional Commission).”
Decaturish filed a records request with MARTA and made a similar request to DeKalb, but efforts to obtain a copy of the agreement have been unsuccessful.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College, which was once known as DeKalb Technical College, already has a bus line that arrives from the station. According to the GPTC website, “Georgia Piedmont Technical College currently has more than 8,000 students enrolled in credit programs and more than 9,000 in adult education and continuing education classes.”
GPTC president Jabari Simama said the school is looking to expand.
“As we consider our expansion needs, we are exploring the possibilities of locating a special purpose campus as part of a transit-oriented development,” Simama said via email. “It would be exciting to have a technical college campus on transit that focus on hospitality, tourism, film, entertainment, television and music. Such a campus would mean that transportation would no longer present a barrier for students wishing to receive a quality education. However, we are only in the exploration stage at this time.”
DeKalb County spokesperson Burke Brennan said the county’s recent decision to offer incentives for a soccer complex may also be a factor in the discussion about the Kensington station.
“Generally, the plans for a TOD have been discussed at that location for many years,” Brennan said. “With the new soccer complex going in across the street, it could spark new interest in this area.”
A transit-oriented development plan published in 2012 also makes mention of the idea.
Under a section about “Future Development Potential,” the report states, “Georgia Piedmont Technical College may need additional office space in the future.”
It goes on to say, “Along with recruiting new office users, DeKalb County has identified the desire to relocate 350,000 to 500,000 square feet of its office space to the Study Area, which has the potential to jump start development there by providing a guaranteed tenant. Georgia Piedmont Technical College is another prospective tenant of the Kensington area and should be consulted regarding opportunities to locate offices, and potentially classroom space, in the Study Area.”