A new college may be coming to Macon and moving into a vacant big-box building off Eisenhower Parkway.
Birmingham, Ala.-based Virginia College, owned by Education Corporation of America, is seeking approval for a conditional-use permit from the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission for 1900-1901 Paul Walsh Drive, just off Eisenhower Parkway.
Plans are to convert the former Kmart building, which closed in 2003, into an educational facility, according to the commission’s staff report. The building, which was built in 1999, closed along with more than 300 stores nationwide as part of Kmart’s bankruptcy plan.
Attempts Friday to reach someone with the college, a real estate company and an attorney involved in the transaction were unsuccessful.
The facility would be a career college with an estimated total enrollment of 1,000 students and 65 employees, the staff report states. The building would provide administrative offices, 27 classrooms, a 4,500-square-foot cosmetology clinic, a library and break room. It also would have a covered outdoor area with seating.
Plans call for 50,000-square-feet of the existing 102,000-square-foot building to be used by Virginia College, the report states.
“In addition to the primary scope of the interior-fit-out, minor building shell renovations will consist of (a) new roof system for the entire building and a new façade at the portion of the building housing the interior fit-out,” according to a statement submitted to the commission staff.
Virginia College is a private institution of higher education and offers associate degrees, diploma courses and baccalaureate degrees at various campuses, according to its Web site. It has 13 campuses in seven states, and the college opened its first Georgia location in Augusta last year.
“The college provides education opportunities through curricula in business, business-related, administrative, management, technical and professional programs that are designed to prepare the student for direct entry into the job market,” according to the college.
Some of the career areas offered through Virginia College and affiliated schools include medical, accounting, cosmetology, criminal justice, golf course management, paralegal studies and pharmacy technician. Not all programs are available at all locations, according to its Web site.
The zoning application is expected to be discussed at the zoning commission meeting, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Macon City Hall, 700 Poplar St.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.