Education

More News | |

Regents hire consultant to evaluate mills campus plan

Thursday, May 2, 2013 9:43 PM
Last updated Friday, May 3, 2013 1:00 AM
  • Follow Government

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has hired a consultant to evaluate Au­gusta's proposal to develop a cultural campus downtown and a mills campus in Har­ris­burg, according to City Admin­is­trator Fred Russell.

Back | Next
Commissioner Bill Fennoy (left) listens as Rep. John Barrow address the room during the District 1 town hall meeting.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Commissioner Bill Fennoy (left) listens as Rep. John Barrow address the room during the District 1 town hall meeting.

No one with the regents was available late Thursday to confirm Russell's announcement, which he made at a Dis­trict 1 town hall meeting held by Augusta Commission member Bill Fennoy at the Kroc Center.

Russell said he'll recommend the city wait to make an initial financial commitment of about $500,000 to further develop the proposal until the “campus planning group” gives a thumbs up or down to all or parts of the massive proposal.

"If they say it's a cool thing, I think we're full speed ahead," he said.

The large, vacant Sibley and King mills – slated in the campus proposal to be converted to classroom, housing and other space for Georgia Regents University – neighbors the Kroc Center in Har­risburg.

Salvation Army Capt. Tony Perez, the area commander who runs the Kroc Center, called the city's plans “a wonderful concept” that would open doors to opportunities for volunteers, interns and others to give back to Harris­burg.

“I just see so many great things that could impact this community in a big way,” Perez said.

Fennoy brought Russell; Environmental Services Dep­u­ty Director Lori Videtto; Urban Pro Weekly Publisher Ben Hassan; former District 1 Commission candidate Denice Traina, whom he recently appointed to Augusta's Plan­ning Commission; state Rep. Wayne Howard; and others to speak to the handful of residents who attended the meeting.

Fennoy and Hassan had news of their own. Fennoy said he's proposing the city install security cameras and signs along the riverwalk to deter crime and make visitors feel safe. He said the commission will discuss the issue at an upcoming meeting.

Fennoy said Thursday's meeting followed similar ones he's held in the District 1 communities of Sand Hills, Eastview and Laney-Walker.

All face similar issues of blight and poverty, he said.

“I think at some point in time, we as a community need to come together and we need to start addressing these issues,” he said. “I can't do anything to change my neighborhood until I do something to change your neighborhood.”

Hassan, after hearing concerns about the city's downtrodden, announced he was running on similar issues for the District 6 commission seat in 2014, when Com­missioner Joe Jackson's second term ends.

“You can build a building, but a building doesn't build people,” Hassan said.

Comments (16) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
countyman
20631
Points
countyman 05/02/13 - 10:17 pm
5
2
I love the new progressive Augusta!!!!

The downtown and mills campuses are pretty much self explanatory. The city is only providing around $400k of the $1.6 million, and clearly shows this proposal will attract private money.

Cameras should have been installed in the CBD, Harrisburg, Medical District, East Augusta, Laney Walker, Bethlehem, Wrightsboro rd, Washington rd, Wheeler rd, Gordon Hwy, Peach Orchard, Tobacco rd, Windsor Spring rd, Deans Bridge, and Mike Padgett/Hwy 56 years ago...

I love the idea of Laney Walker, Harrisburg, Bethlehem, Sand Hills, East Augusta, and Turpin Hill all working together. They can even visit Olde Town, and see how they managed to come so far along.

triscuit
3157
Points
triscuit 05/02/13 - 10:55 pm
3
0
Who or what company will

Who or what company will receive the $500,000 development fee?

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 05/03/13 - 04:22 am
6
1
Russell says the INITIAL city

Russell says the INITIAL city funding will be $500,000.

nocnoc
45125
Points
nocnoc 05/03/13 - 06:52 am
6
3
Yep just what we need .....

Yep just what we need another... can you say a

DOWNTOWN

Revitalization Project.

We all know where this is headed.
NEW TAXES, a money pit for taxpayers and slush fund for certain people to tap and spend.

nocnoc
45125
Points
nocnoc 05/03/13 - 06:59 am
4
1
BTW: if this is the Ben

BTW: if this is the Ben Hassan of Pepper Ridge area?

Serious look at his background, paper theme, and tone before considering any voter support for him.

While he has been straight forward about his goals and endeavors.
His political ideas and background makes Obama look like a right wing conservative.

nocnoc
45125
Points
nocnoc 05/03/13 - 07:07 am
4
1
Security cameras don't stop

Security cameras don't stop crime.

Cameras record Crime.

That is why we still have store robberies.
The criminals put on their Hoodies, or just run down to K-mart and purchase a Ski mask that is in stock of year round.

countyman
20631
Points
countyman 05/03/13 - 08:19 am
3
5
Cameras

The goal should be to deter/reduce crime, because nothing can actually stop it completely. The security cameras were able to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects... Let's please bring the city of Augusta into the 21st century.

I definitely know sitting around doing nothing won't stop, reduce, or deter crime. Continuing to lock people up in the jail won't stop crime either. I think we should go ahead, and pass out fines instead of taking people to jail caught with less than one ounce of marijuana.

You need the local community, government, Kroc Center, Boys & Girl Clubs, community centers, non profits, private sector, etc all working together to lower the crime rate. Law enforcement is not the major solution to dramatically lowering the crime rate. They can definitely help of course, but should be the last option.

The proposal has already managed to attract Georgia Power, private money, Artspace, Nederlander organization, etc... The additional opportunities presented to the local public will help lower the crime rate too. You can't expect for high paying jobs to come here unless you can attract the young educated workforce. You can't expect for young professional to move here unless we have the amenities to offer them.

prov227
3279
Points
prov227 05/03/13 - 09:57 am
2
2
Two quotable quotes ...

“I can't do anything to change my neighborhood until I do something to change your neighborhood.” His logic escapes me. I thought personal responsibility began at home and serves as an example to others to follow.

“You can build a building, but a building doesn't build people,” Hassan said. Actually building structures does improve character. Ask any builder. Tearing them down doesn't help people.

my.voice
4927
Points
my.voice 05/03/13 - 09:57 am
5
1
They are not called Mills

They are not called Mills now, they are now officially GRills............

Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 05/03/13 - 11:38 am
3
0
What the heck was Barrow's angle?

I don't think his name was mentioned in the article. Is he running for something we don't know about?

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 05/03/13 - 12:19 pm
4
0
Countyman said, "You need the

Countyman said, "You need the local community, government, Kroc Center, Boys & Girl Clubs, community centers, non profits, private sector, etc all working together to lower the crime rate. Law enforcement is not the major solution to dramatically lowering the crime rate. They can definitely help of course, but should be the last option."

I completely agree.

Susan McCord
127
Points
Susan McCord 05/03/13 - 01:10 pm
2
0
Sweet Son, Triscuit

Barrow said he'd just stopped by to check things out. Made himself available to those present and got his photo taken.

ARC Project has a list of tasks and/or vendors they want the money for that includes environmental, planning and looking for tax credits, grants and other funding. The proposal and involved properties are so large, they say, they need lots of prep to market properly.

Little Lamb
47048
Points
Little Lamb 05/03/13 - 01:27 pm
2
1
Ricardo Russell

From Tom Corwin's story three days ago we have Ricardo Azziz saying this:

“While there is much study yet to be done, it is truly exciting and potentially a game-changer for the city of Augusta and for this university,” Azziz said. A campus planner is working with the university to look at the potential there, he said. But the university cannot fund the development, Azziz said. “It has a lot to do with the finances,” he said. “The university does not have the resources to make that happen unless the city itself commits to helping do that. This is a city effort and we are certainly trying to be as helpful as we can be but this is not our effort at this point.”

And from the story up above we have Fred (What, me worry?) Russell saying this:

Russell said he'll recommend the city wait to make an initial financial commitment of about $500,000 to further develop the proposal until the “campus planning group” gives a thumbs up or down to all or parts of the massive proposal. "If they say it's a cool thing, I think we're full speed ahead," he said.

I guess they're saying the same thing, and it sounds to me like Grooo wants the city to put up practically all of the money for the entire project, and that Russell is not the least bit worried. That will be tens of millions if not over a hundred million dollars. Pretty soon, we'll be talking real money.

Little Lamb
47048
Points
Little Lamb 05/03/13 - 01:31 pm
3
1
Dignitaries

Look who came to speak at the meeting:

Bill Fennoy
Fred Russell
Lori Videtto
Ben Hassan
Denice Traina
Tony Perez
Wayne Howard
John Barrow
and others

I'm sure the dignitaries outnumbered the ordinary folk who showed up.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 05/03/13 - 01:57 pm
1
0
JB shows up everywhere.

JB shows up everywhere. That's his M.O. Saw his mug on my kid's school website day before yesterday. He just better not let nobody take my pea shooters.

Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 05/03/13 - 05:55 pm
1
0
My point exactly Susan! He was just getting camera time!

He's a Democrat and as you might have observed I don't care for him! As David Parker says, he is just getting his mug printed everywhere he can. He has no business having his mug displayed on a school's website!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs