Alpharetta already talking to colleges: 3 private four-year institutions contacted

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Alpharetta College Bowl has begun.

Scarcely had word been announced last week that the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the city of Alpharetta would begin recruiting private colleges to move to the city than word came three institutions have been contacted.

GNFCC President and CEO Brandon Beach said the search team has already reached out to three colleges, actually meeting with officials from one this past week. He declined to identify any of these colleges, saying talks are preliminary and exploratory only.

“This is still premature at this point,” Beach said. “We are in discussions with some schools that we think would be a fit.”

He said he was pleased with the first conversations with a school president.

“It went well. They showed a lot of vision and realize the opportunities that would be provided by having a college in North Fulton and the opportunities it would have serving the population that lives here,” Beach said.

Beach pointed out that the 6th Congressional District is the only one in Georgia that does not have a four-year college. That is why the search committee was formed. It has its eye on locating the college on the former Milton High School campus on Milton Avenue in Alpharetta. But the property still belongs to the Fulton Board of Education.

The city and the chamber see the attraction of a college to North Fulton as an economic benefit for the Alpharetta downtown, providing a ready-made clientele for stores and restaurants there. The faculty and staff would mean new jobs in the city as well.

Area residents would have a close-to-home college for students who prefer to attend a local college. It also polishes North Fulton’s resume as it tries to attract new and high-tech businesses to the region and especially Alpharetta.

“This is a process, and we are just taking the first steps,” Beach said.

This article was published in the Revue & News April 18, 2013 edition