Thursday, June 5, 2014
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (WRDW-TV)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- What will happen to the King and Sibley Mills? The properties have been empty for the last several years.
A plan by Mayor Deke Copenhaver for the mills was rejected by voters. Copenhaver plans to keep fighting for his project.
Augusta voters said no to money for the mills, but Mayor Copenhaver is still saying yes.
"It is still a viable project long after I'm out of office. The fact that the school will have all future expansion happen in the urban core is huge for the city as it is," Copenhaver said.
GRU-Augusta is a few months from completing their 11-month Master Plan for the next eight years. We're told staff is searching around the Augusta area and the state to plan for its expansion needs. Officials could decide if they'll use King and Sibley Mills for dorms and classrooms.
"I think if GRU could take advantage of the opportunity, the city could find a way to help them raise funds and find private investors to create it," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.
The Augusta Canal Authority just received a $200,000 grant to clean up contamination at Sibley Mills. Some wonder if contamination clean up is needed at King Mills, as well.
"I'm hoping the mayor knows that he's got to find the money to make sure that there is no contamination. You don't want to put good money in a project that's not worthy of it," said Commissioner Williams.
"With all these textile mills you are going to have issues with some contamination that's not a surprise. I'm glad the Canal Authority got the money to clean it up," Copenhaver said.