Brenau University celebrated the grand opening of its new South Atlanta/Fairburn regional campus Tuesday.
The new campus at 314 NW Broad St., or U.S. 29, is located about a half-mile from downtown Fairburn.
Brenau will occupy an 18,400-square-foot academic building in the new $10 million, four-acre education complex developed by the Fairburn city government to attract nonresidential, higher education operations.
"The opening of the Brenau South Atlanta/Fairburn campus is a significant event not only for the university but also for the entire South Fulton County region," said Brenau President Ed Schrader in a news release.
"The significant growth that we are witnessing in higher education today is driven by older students and people who may want to change careers or improve job skills to enhance their personal competitiveness as well as by traditional-aged students who are laying their educational foundations for future careers. This new Brenau regional campus will serve both groups."
U.S. Rep. David Scott, who represents the 13th District, said at the grand opening that he believes the new school is a "wonderful, wonderful blessing" for the community.
"I am very, very interested in seeing it move forward in its progress," the Democrat said. "We stand ready to do whatever we can to make certain this is a sterling success here in Fairburn."
Scott also outlined several ways Brenau could tap into government programs to expand — most immediately in the area of primary health care improvements, an emphasis of the national health care legislation moving through Congress.
"Congressman Scott was suggesting that, since Brenau is basic in health care, as we provide family nurse practitioners to Northeast Georgia that one of the opportunities right now is funding from the national health care bill to provide funding for scholarships and expansion of primary health care givers in Fairburn," Schrader told the audience of about 60 people.
Georgia Military College occupied the first of two academic buildings completed in the first phase of the Fairburn campus development.
Brenau and the two-year military college already share space in Augusta and offer compatible programs in many areas that enable military college graduates to complete studies for four-year or graduate degrees at Brenau.
The Fairburn campus also features a three-story, colonial-style administration building and two outbuildings for retail or food-service operations. There are plans for two additional academic buildings.
Brenau University has about 2,600 students, more than 1,600 of which are enrolled in the coeducational programs on Brenau’s nonresidential campuses in Gainesville, North Atlanta/Norcross, Augusta, Kings Bay and now Fairburn.