ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia is removing hedges along Prince Avenue to start the process of opening up the former Navy Supply Corps School campus to the public.
Workers are cutting down the shrubs to "open up the vista into campus, open up the overall view," said Associate Vice President Ralph Johnson, head of the UGA physical plant.
UGA officials are planning to remove part of the fence around the 58-acre campus at the corner of Prince and Oglethorpe avenues, add a walkway and improve a garden near the corner, Johnson said.
The university also received complaints that the hedges were impeding foot traffic on the Prince Avenue sidewalk by forcing pedestrians to walk close to the road, he said.
Access to the campus is restricted now because few employees are around to keep an eye on things, but that will change when the campus gets busier. Once some of the buildings on the campus are renovated for a UGA health sciences campus, professors and other staff will start to move in. Classes are scheduled to start there in fall 2012.
"Eventually, a year from now, once we have a larger population on campus, it will be an open campus at that time," Johnson said.
Except for a few special events, the campus was closed to the public after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
UGA took over the former military base last month and plans to turn it into a health sciences campus in partnership with the Augusta-based Medical College of Georgia. The Navy school moved to Rhode Island last year as part of a round of base-closings and consolidations in 2005.