Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) was officially established as Macon Area Vocational-Technical School in 1962 through joint action of the Georgia State Board of Education and the Bibb County Board of Education. Initial construction was completed in 1966 with three locations: 940 Forsyth Street, 505 Second Street, and 1065 Anthony Road. Students began taking classes in 1966, with the first classes graduating in 1967.
In response to increased demand by students, industry, and the community, an agreement between the Bibb County Board of Education and the State Board of Vocational Educational was reached in 1973 for the construction of a new facility. Construction on the new facility was completed in 1978, with full occupancy reached the same year. The new facility, located at 3300 Macon Tech Drive, greatly improved and expanded the exposure of the institution. In 1987, the name of Macon Area Vocational-Technical School was changed to Macon Technical Institute (MTI) to better reflect the expanded mission and focus of the institution.
On July 1, 1989, MTI became part of a system of technical institutes under the management of the Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE). A local Board of Directors was appointed by the State Board to provide local representation in the management of the institution. Governor Sonny Purdue later signed legislation changing the name from DTAE to the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Of the many changes that have occurred since the College's inception, the conversion from local to state governance has been one of the most significant.
Throughout the years, MTI expanded to reflect the changing needs of the community. In July 1990, the institution assumed governance of the Baldwin County Adult Center in Milledgeville. In 1991, the Aircraft Structural Technology program was relocated from 1062 Forsyth Street to the main campus. In December 1992, the State Board approved the granting of Associate of Applied Technology (AAT) degrees and Medical Laboratory Technology became the first program to admit students at this degree level in October 1993.
In November 1993, MTI held the ground-breaking ceremony for a new facility on the south side of the Macon Campus, located off of Raymonde Kelley Drive. Construction on the new facility began in early 1994 and was completed in January 1996. This facility, Building H, currently houses health programs, a student lecture hall, and a 250-seat auditorium. An aircraft hangar was also included in this construction phase and provided the laboratory space for expanded aerospace training.
In 1993, Georgia's General Assembly appropriated funds for a satellite campus to be constructed in Milledgeville, and 69.621 acres of land were transferred from the Department of Human Resources to DTAE for this purpose. Construction on the Milledgeville Campus began in 1996, and the campus opened in fall 1997.
On July 6, 2000, as part of the Education Reform Act, Macon Technical Institute was renamed Central Georgia Technical College to more accurately reflect the seven-county area that the college serves. These counties include Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam, and Twiggs.
In 2001, the college assumed governance of the Adult Literacy Program from the Bibb County Board of Education. In 2003, the CGTC Foundation's Board of Trustees purchased a building near the main campus and assisted in raising funds to convert the building to an Adult Learning Center, which now houses CGTC's Adult Education Program.
The College's expansion continued with the opening of the Jones County Center in 2001, Putnam County Center in September 2002, and the Crawford County Center in 2004. Building I, located on the main campus, also opened in 2004, to serve as the location for several academic core programs, library, food court, and bookstore. The Office of Economic Development, including continuing education classes, was later relocated to Building I.
In 2002, CGTC purchased what would become Building J on the Macon Campus. Renovation began in October 2004, and the $5 million, 34,800 square foot building was completed in August 2006. Several academic programs, the Business Office, and divisions of the Office of Student Affairs are housed in this building. CGTC's Board of Directors voted to officially rename Building J to the Melton Palmer, Jr. Building in honor of CGTC's president, who retired in 2006.
CGTC's satellite operations continued to expand with the opening of the Twiggs County Center in 2009. In 2010, CGTC opened the Monroe County Center at the former Monroe Academy location in Forsyth. The center currently offers both credit and continuing education classes for residents in Forsyth and surrounding communities.
Intercollegiate athletics were launched in 2010, featuring men's and women's basketball. The Cougar Athletic department joined the Division I National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA).
In July 2011, the CGTC Foundation purchased a new facility on Macon Tech Drive for the purpose of relocating the CGTC bookstore. The new location allowed for expansion of the bookstore, doubling its size to accommodate the increase in enrollment that has impacted CGTC over the last several years. The new bookstore has an expanded inventory, including athletic gear promoting CGTC's athletic teams, and includes a student lounging area and food shop.
In July 2011, CGTC held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Milledgeville Campus to commemorate the construction of the new Center of Health Sciences. Construction of the $17 million, 77,700 square-foot facility is slated to begin in August 2011, with classes scheduled to be offered in January 2013. The new facility will allow for expansion of Health Technology programs, the Academic Success Center, Work Force Development Center, administrative offices, and expanded library, and will accommodate an additional 1,600 students on the Milledgeville Campus.
CGTC has had a number of distinguished administrators to oversee the College's progress through the years. The College operated under the leadership of Ben C. Brewton from 1966 to 1989. Dr. Melton Palmer, Jr. was named president in 1989 and served until his retirement in 2006. Upon Dr. Palmer's retirement, TCSG appointed Dr. Kathy Love as interim president to serve the college during the presidential search. CGTC's second president, Dr. Ronald Natale, served from February 2007 to June 2009. Dr. Flora Tydings, a former Vice President of Academic Affairs at CGTC, was appointed interim president on July 1, 2009, and served until Dr. Michael D. Moye took the helm on February 16, 2010. Dr. Moye guided the College until his retirement after 37 years of service on May 31, 2012. Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner, Ron Jackson, appointed Dr. Ivan H. Allen as CGTC's interim president in June 2012. Dr. Allen became acting president in November 2012.
Today, CGTC offers over 190 technical programs of study, continuing education classes, economic development services, and adult education programs for central Georgia. CGTC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees and many programs hold industry-specific national and state accreditations and certifications. CGTC remains true to its mission of providing services that are responsive to the community's need for a competitive workforce and robust economy.