Taxpayers to vote on repayment method for Gilbert Manor deal

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News 12 at six o'clock, May 7, 2008

Augusta, GA---Sue Ward is a graduate of MCG's dental school, and she is now an employee for more than 20 years. She's pretty fond of the place.

"Oh...I love it. I love it," said Sue. A ground breaking decision from the Augusta commission promises $10 million to buy and demolish Gilbert Manor...neighboring property that is being prepped for a new medical and dental school.

"It is a dream come true...I mean we have waited for years...we have outgrown this building, and it's so exciting to think that we are going to be in the heart of campus," said Sue.

The only dental school in the state of Georgia is set to double in size...265, 000 sq feet. "'s just gonna make a world of difference not only for our students, but for the community as a whole," said Sue.

The school will treat more than 50,000 patients with new state of the art technology. "Gotta keep up...and we gotta be state of the art...because we wanna be cutting edge," said Sue.

"Our goal is to make sure that we have a well trained workforce that's able to go anywhere in the state," said Dr. Connie Drisko who is the dean of the dental school.

"Where else can I possibly go," said Dawnyetta Marable. She is a third year student who finds it funny to think that she'd practice anywhere else. "The community as a whole raised me, and I want to offer dental care to the community as well."

Dawnyetta's not alone. More than 80 percent of dental school graduates decide to set up shop in their own home state. With class sizes increasing from 60 to 100...some call the city's $10 million dollars a worthwhile investment.

"Oh definitely...not only today, but you know 10 years...20 years down the road it will be benefiting Augusta and the Augusta community and the state of Georgia."

Again...the city has a plan to pay back that $10 million dollars with SPLOST money. That requires your vote. The faculty and students pour money back into the economy. The construction project will mean millions. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Summer 2009.

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