The medical community to benefit from downtown expansion.

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at six o'clock, February 20, 2008

Augusta, GA---Downtown Augusta is taking on a whole new shape and size. It is expanding to include I-520, Paine College, and the medical community. News 12 takes a look at what it means for the landlocked Medical College of Georgia?

"I think they have done a wise job to help us expand," said Faith Mmanywa. She is a graduate student at the Medical College of Georgia. Students and administrators alike are excited about downtown Augusta's boundaries expanding to include M.C.G.

"It broadens the playing field for downtown and for us," said Dr. Michael Ash with the Medical of Georgia. The school is busy at work reviewing designs and drawing plans for a growing campus.

"Our home is Augusta. Our home will continue to be Augusta," said Dr. Ash. News 12 has at look the before and after look at plans for the Gilbert Manor property. "We have a number of steps we must negotiate and continue to move forward, but we are feeling much better about the ability to expand," said Dr. Ash.

The college's local economic impact is $800 million dollars. Some say, bringing it into the downtown fold is the city's way of securing the future of M.C.G. here in Augusta. "Oh this discussion has been going on for two years, and when I first got here that discussion was going on and now it's a reality," said Margaret Woodard with the Downtown Development Authority.

And get's just a display at the Augusta Museum of History, but with downtown's boundaries expanding east, west, and south the city is looking to put trolleys back on the streets of Augusta. "As people come in they're gonna need ways to get around and parking is gonna get tight if we can come up with a system that links it would be a great thing for downtown." said Woodard.

Faith is on board. She says it is just one more thing that makes it easier to live, work, and learn at the Medical College of Georgia in downtown Augusta. "Maybe it's not a Harvard, but we have gotten the best training ever to compete anywhere so that's really great," said Faith.

The call for expansion was made Tuesday. The Downtown Development Authority will send a letter to the state to finalize the process in the coming weeks.

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