New Judicial Center location to spark economic revival

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, September 27, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The jury is still out on just how Augusta's new Judicial Center will look. But the verdict is in on its location: It will be along Walton Way and James Brown Boulevard. That news has a lot of people along that stretch saying, "I feel good!"

Rufus Patrick lives right down the street from the site of the planned judicial center. "Me and my family moved down here from Atlanta and we was pretty much poor and struggling," he said.

But now that has changed. With talks of the new judicial center, construction workers are busy at work building mixed income homes. "Man, it makes me feel wonderful," Rufus said. "Me and my wife never thought we could get one of these houses."

It's a neighborhood in transition. The idea is to turn what was once a street lined with rundown homes and overgrown lots into a sprawling community for people to live, work, and play.

Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corporation housing counselor Shirley Hill says, "To have businesses right in the area where people can walk to work to bring more businesses to the area with the restaurants and the local's all good."

The plan is to shut down Talcot Street, which is right between James Brown Boulevard and 10th Street, and put the Judicial Center right on top. People in the neighborhood say it's all good news.

Latoya Jackson lives along the stretch. "Like when people don't have cars, they won't have to worry about getting all the way downtown," she said. "They'll have something that's right here locally, and they won't have to worry about the bench warrants, 'cause if you don't make it they will put one out on you."

Like Latoya, Rufus says he's excited about the new Judicial Building. "I think it really does mean a lot to this community as far as advancements and property value."

"When it's all finished I think its gonna be beautiful," Latoya said.

"Oh yeah, most definitely," Rufus said. "This sure enough going to be a nice neighborhood."

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