AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Georgia Cyber Center plans to construct a third building that may affect Augusta’s economy and skyline.
The campus currently has two buildings. The Hull McKnight building for academia and innovation, and the Shaffer MacCartney building, a hub for technology startups and co-location with government and industry groups. The two buildings consist of a combined 330-thousand square feet.
Now they’re looking toward expansion.
The University System of Georgia owns the lot that will be home to building number three, and it’s next door to the existing structures.
Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences will be an anchor tenant, using the space for research.
“They are out of space. Not teaching space necessarily, but they’re out of space for research,” said Michael Shaffer, executive vice president for strategic partnerships and economic development at AU.
The original buildings were designed by Gensler architects, who have proposed three potential designs for the new building.
“I asked everybody to design from the same scope,” Shaffer said. “What that was, I said, ‘Give us a a building that’s 250-thousand square feet, make it a small footprint because we only have so much land left, and then you also have to take into account parking.’ The images people have now seen are from that exercise, that charrette. Three groups came up with a design each. That’s why you see three designs.”
Shaffer says at this time, they do not plan to use state funding for this project, because Augusta University needs that funding for other priorities, including parking and student housing.
“The idea at this point would be what’s called a PPV, which is a public-private venture,” Shaffer said.
He is hopeful this addition will benefit the region’s economy.
“Certainly the number of people coming here will also help support the service industry, the food industry, the hotel and motel industry,” Shaffer said. “So I think all boats will rise because of what’s going on.”
Shaffer says they are discussing details. but the plan needs time to mature. The timeline for the construction of the third building is not yet set in stone.