New 'HEAL' complex at private college funded by public dollars to offer free Augusta workouts

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It is a private college that is getting public funding. We are taking you on a tour of the new Health Education and Learning center at Paine College. We had one question: What's in it for you?

"We're on schedule, and it's going to be a great place," said Paine College Administrator Brandon Brown as we took an exclusive hard hat tour of the HEAL complex.

"It's really going to add a major complement to the institution," Brown said.

Brown says students can look forward to smart classrooms.

"With the smart classroom technology, we really don't have any limits to what we can do," Brown said. "We can literally pipe in other classes to this facility."

The center is a slam dunk for players, too. It is the new home of the Lions.

"They ask me, 'When are we getting in there?'" said Paine College Basketball Coach Jimmy Link.

The basketball team has been playing at local high schools.

"It's going to be really nice having a locker room and having an office." Link said.

The center will also boast workout space for taxpayers who helped fund the building. Richmond County taxpayers approved $2.5 million in SPLOST fund for the project.

"If you live in Richmond County, you're saying taxpayers can come here and work out for free?" we asked.

"For free," Brown said. "We will have designated hours because here at Paine College we want to heal the community. This is what this center is designed to do."

The center will also have a multipurpose gym with skyboxes for special events.

"Banquets. Dances. More proms," said Tiffany Brook, director of development and a Paine College alum. "Everyone can come back meet fellowship on our own home course."

This is a $9 million project. Seven events have already been booked. It is expected to open in January 2012.

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