News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The new name for Augusta's "New U" is not the only big story coming from Atlanta this week. The Board of Regents is recommending millions of dollars for a new cancer building at Georgia Regents University.
"That got lost a little bit in the shuffle," said University President Dr. Ricardo Azziz.
The existing cancer center and research building would be merged into one large complex as part of a plan we first told you about back in April called Project 2012.
"That is really big news," Azziz said.
The idea is to move the cancer center closer to the medical center. The $100 million research cancer building would sit right across from the hospital on 15th Street on the old Thunder Bird Inn property.
"We did have a good day in Atlanta," said Phil Howard, vice president of facilities and the soon-to-be-merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University.
Outside of the recommended cancer center funding, a $10 million gift from an alum paved the way for the Board of Regents to name the new education commons building after J. Harold Harrison.
"The education commons building is scheduled to break ground in October," Howard said. "This building will be running concurrent with that. It will be a busy time on campus."
The movement comes in the face of a suggested $4 million reduction from the state.
"$4 million is significant because we have to find areas to cut," Azziz said. "Hopefully this will be done through a process of positions are vacant ... we won't fill them."
We expect to learn more about those cuts in the coming weeks. The cancer center funding is just a recommendation from the board. It will need legislative approval in January.