Georgia Cyber Center to bring more jobs in new expansion

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs are already at the Georgia Cyber Center, but a new building and even more jobs may be on the way as the center keep plans to grow.

Only a little space is left at the Cyber Center, which means they are starting to look out the window towards the future.

“We are in need of thinking about a third building immediately. It’s like anything. It’s all about money,” Michael Shaffer of Augusta University said.

The Cyber Center wouldn’t be what it is without Shaffer, especially since his name is on the building. He’s helping to cast the vision the center brings.

“Research is the key to this campus,” Shaffer said. “If we attract researchers, and we are creating that talent pool, we are creating those researchers.”

Researchers come from Academia, which means the new building would be both for AU and industry. All they need is more space.

“We are in the process of unprecedented growth. In the past 18 months, we’ve more than doubled the size of our faculty,” Dr. Alexander Schwarzmann said.

Schwarzmann is the dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at AU. He is recruiting internationally for cyber scientists to come here with a dream to partner them with the hundreds of students already learning on this campus.

“At the pace we are growing, I imagine that in two or maybe three years. We will only be second to Georgia Tech,” he said.

The new building would help manage that growth. Construction is already underway on the last available space at the cyber center.

So, they need funding for the new vision, at least $25 million, to grow this campus and our local economy.

“The jobs that are coming, the type of jobs and the families that are coming. That just helps create the business environment that we are all after,” Shaffer said.

How soon could they break ground on the new space? Officials say it’s going to come as soon as possible. Once the design is finalized, it would likely take one to two years to build.

AU expects to have more than 1,000 computer science and cyber students in only a couple of years. They plan to build a graduate program for those students on the cyber campus.

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