I am writing in response to Matthew Quinn’s article entitled “Gwinnett Tech Campus Wise Investment for N. Fulton.”
I do not doubt the value that a technical school brings to communities and students. Technical schools serve a great purpose. What I object to is the shroud of secrecy that has enveloped this project. In attempts to find out what specific sites are being considered, I am told that this information is confidential. I find this quite troubling. The Georgia education system is a tax-supported entity, and citizens have a right to expect that all such organizations will be run in a transparent and open manner.
In a previous article by Mr. Quinn, it was stated that “the project will move quickly.” I take that to mean that the decision will be made with no opportunity for citizen input. A decision on this campus could have significant negative impact on all North Fulton residents, especially those who live in close proximity to the campus, and they will not have the opportunity to provide opposing views. The campus and its students will utilize resources and services, but will provide no tax revenue. If this campus takes the place of a commercial taxpaying enterprise, it is not a good deal.
According to a 2010 AJC article, the average technical school in Georgia has an enrollment of around 7,000. If the new campus attracts only half this number, the local streets will not be able to safely handle the increase in traffic. This is definitely true in Johns Creek, which is already considered a “pass through” community.
I call on the TCSG and our elected government representatives to honor the citizens and taxpayers of North Fulton and provide transparency. You have that responsibility, and we have that right.