The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Proposal: Clayton State to hold classes at tennis center's new building


The expansion of the Peachtree City Tennis Center will include room for a pro shop, a restaurant, and ... a college?

That's the proposal from the Peachtree City Development Authority and the Fayette County Development Authority. Both have secured a deal for Clayton College and State University to use classrooms at the tennis center to offer continuing education classes to local residents.

The first classes will be offered in the fall, Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority, said at the Peachtree City Council retreat Saturday morning.

Officials hope the class offerings will take off in popularity so the Board of Regents will fund a stand-alone university center in the future that would be operated by CCSU.

Other colleges and universities in the Georgia system could teach courses here in Fayette, Clark said

"This is something that has been worked on for 20 years," said Tate Godfrey, chairman of the Peachtree City Development Authority. "Even though it's a very small start, it gets our foot in the door."

The Fayette County Development Authority has committed $50,000 to build out and furnish the 3,000 plus square feet of office space at the new building for three classrooms and three small offices. One of the offices wil house the Small Business Development Center, allowing a permanent location for SBDC representatives to meet for client meetings and counseling.

More funds will be needed to furnish and equip the classrooms and offices, with estimates running from $40,000 to $60,000 Godfrey said. The authority will present that need to council at its regular meeting Thursday night.

Mayor Steve Brown said he had concerns about the classes creating a parking problem at the tennis center. But Godfrey said there would never be more than 30 or 40 cars present at one time for the courses.

"Believe me, that was our first concern," Godfrey said, referring to the potential impact the classes would have on the tennis center's normal operations.

"We have expanded our parking greatly," said Virgil Christian, executive director of the Peachtree City Development Authority.

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