AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — A multi-million dollar high-tech facility is one step closer to coming to the campus of USC Aiken.

The ground was officially broken on a new project meant to bring the “power of proximity” to Aiken County. “There were moments when we thought it wouldn’t, but it has,” Distinguished Chancellor Emeritus of USC Aiken Dr. Sandra Jordan said, laughing about the project.

The AMC will be a $50 million state-of-the-art innovation hub. A partnership between Savannah River National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy will house a spot for research and education on the current sports fields on USC Aiken’s campus. “The great thing, all of these compliments, Congressman Joe Wilson said when thinking about the Georgia Cyber Center and Augusta University. “I’m really grateful to see the collaboration we have,” he added. “We toured several other universities,” subsidiary president of Northwind Group Brent Brooks said. University of Georgia had a unique building that we actually walked through to get ideas and show the vision of what this could actually be.” he added.

In 2020, NewsChannel 6 showed you a 3-D replica of the project. The contractor for the facility said changes needed to be made to that plan. “The reason is new technologies,” Brooks shared. “We used a lot more flexible design in this one to be able to expand and be able to manipulate with the different missions that actually can be done at the facility,” he added.

Reports from the DOE show the economic impact could be a big one! “It even begins right away with 110 permanent jobs and almost 200 construction jobs,” Congressman Wilson said. ” So it’s gonna make a real difference, for our whole region,” he added.

Mobilization to get construction underway will start near the beginning of summer. Actual visible construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022.