This is the 12th post in a series of posts this December that will chronicle the 25 things we would most like to see in Roswell. None of these are actually happening... at least in the way we'd like them to. Please enjoy and have a happy holidays!
This is part of my Complete Roswell kick. Most great cities, big or small have a reputable university campus within their city limits. The university doesn't have to be world class but it should be more than just a vocational college or two year community college (although that would be preferable to what we have now).
So, what are the options? Ga State expanded early last decade to Alpharetta. Another case where the sprawl mecca to our north beat us out. I actually went to that campus for a semester when I was working on an MBA. It was no fun. It just didn't feel like college. It felt more like work. I guess that is appropriate since the campus is in an office building. I highly doubt Ga Tech would be looking to expand but they are definitely starting to run out of room downtown, having jumped the connector with offices and classrooms along Spring Street. Emory isn't going anywhere. What does that leave? Well, it looks like Gwinnett Tech is looking for a North Fulton location and our neighbors are also interested.
Don't get too excited though because it looks like Johns Creek or Alpharetta may have the upper hand. The empty parcel just south of North Point Parkway and Mansell Rd is a prime spot. So, once again, Roswell will be close but not close enough. Now, is Gwinnett Tech what we really want? I say it's better than nothing. Would an expansion of Ga Tech or Emory be more prestigious? Yes. But, what is more likely? I think the city should go after it with zeal.
Now, what sites would be ideal? How about these two for starters? The south east intersection of Holcomb Bridge & 400 or the Town Center Shopping Center (my favorite town center).
Ramping up a college presence takes time but Roswell should really jump on this. It would bring an additional job driver, a more diverse population, and it would encourage some of our youth to stick around and get their education near their home. Now, I do have to add that the one thing that I think would be unacceptable is to build a typical commuter campus with large parking lots and buildings separated like those on office parks. So, whatever would be built would have to be in a district that adheres to the principles of new urbanism.