City partners with 'New U'

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, Dec. 21, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- On Jan. 8, it will be out with the old and in with the "New U."

"It's a great opportunity for us. Very seldom does a city have a chance to watch a major university grow within its bounds," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

The city has entered into a partnership with Georgia Regents University by drafting a resolution to support the new school.

"We take it as a sign of their support and their understanding of the importance of this great university being in Augusta," said GRU Community Affairs Director Cedric Johnson.

"It gives us the opportunity to say, we want to be at the table to help you and we want you to be at the table as we continue to grow to make sure that we do things together that are mutually beneficial," Russell said.

The city hopes to help bring in attractions and entertainment to make the Augusta area more appealing. Leaders say this relationship will help the city transform and grow along with the university.

"If you look at Emory and the transformation around Emory, you can see it's very important to have the city and college in a joint partnership to move both forward," Johnson said.

The partnership, along with a multi-million dollar groundbreaking project around the school, will also help lay rumors to rest.

"They're investing millions of dollars here in Augusta. I don't think that the state legislature would allow that to be done if they were going to move the school to Athens," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

Commissioners signed the resolution Tuesday.

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