News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013
ATLANTA (WRDW) -- There were a lot of familiar faces from our area meeting in Atlanta Tuesday. Representatives and state senators from all across the CSRA held a joint meeting to get updates from the experts on everything from TSPLOST to GRU.
Georgia State Rep. Wayne Howard says, "There are a lot of things going on in Augusta and the surrounding areas to include Columbia County and Burke County."
Tuesday's meeting was a New Year's resolution of sorts to keep everyone on the same page.
"Working together, if we'll stick together, we can turn Augusta into what it should be in the future," said Rep. Ben Harbin.
Along with talks of TSPLOST, most of the conversation focused on the future of GRU and what that will mean for the area.
"As they grow, as the campus grows, students come in, we'll see a lot more activity down there, which will bring down a lot more economic development," Harbin said.
State funding this year for GRU is expected to be more than $55 million.
"There's a lot of money right now in this budget for GRU, for the cancer research, for other cancer money that is there," Harbin said.
The school is also hoping for additional money for its satellite campus in Rome, which is set to open in the fall.
"The Rome campus is set to go, I guess you can call it go online, this coming semester," said the VP for Governmental Relations for GRU.
But a hot topic still on everyone's mind is the name changes and if they will ever end?
"Hopefully, we're at the end point of that," Howard said.
Just last week, the school announced more new names for facilities like the Children's Medical Center, which will now be called the Children's Hospital of Georgia.
"The names that were just announced from the medical side were to align it with the new name, so that as you go through branding, and people can understand that it is one enterprise," a GRU representative explained.