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$500,000 funding gap won't harm progress for GRU Cancer Center

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 8:18 PM
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 12:30 AM
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Coming up $500,000 short in local matching funds won’t slow the progress of a new Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, a spokeswoman said.

The $62.5 million project needed $12.5 million in matching money to access $45 million in bond funding, officials said. That effort got a big assist Tuesday when the Masters Tournament announced a $6 million donation through the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area. Of that gift, $4 million was to go toward the new facility and $2 million for Camp Lakeside, a camp for children with disabilities and illnesses that will be created in Lincoln County, said foundation board Chairman Braye Boardman.

The other $8.5 million was to come from private support, according to the foundation’s news release. Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, told the Augusta Commission that $4.5 million of the donation was going to the cancer center, and the commission Tuesday evening approved $8 million for the local match.

Having $12 million instead of $12.5 million will not slow down the project, said GRU spokeswoman Christen Carter, who confirmed that the $8 million and $4 million amounts were correct. At least two-thirds of the local match needs to be in the bank before the Governor’s Office of Personnel and Budget will release $45 million in bond funding already sold this fiscal year, which would keep the project on track.

“We do not see an issue in securing the bond funds at this point because, for us, $12.5 million isn’t the finish line,” she said, adding that the fundraising team is still raising money for the project.

“They’re confident they will be able to secure enough donations from public and private sources to make the $12.5 million in order to secure the $45 million in bonds,” she said.

The $45 million would cover the $44.5 million in construction costs, according to the budget approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this article.

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