Leaders preparing for major growth coming to Fort Gordon

Plans are in the works to manage major growth coming to Fort Gordon.
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Plans are in the works to manage major growth coming to Fort Gordon. By the end of this year, the department of defense expects 2,000 more personnel on base. Throw in their families, partners, and others who may come with them and we’re talking about a lot more people in the area.

Leaders are putting together something called the regional growth management plan and it’s a project through the CSRA regional commission. Their goal they say is what impact this major growth will have on the area’s infrastructure. But some people who live in the area say they’re a bit hesitant.

You don’t have to live in Fort Gordon your whole life to notice what is going on in Columbia County.

“None of this was here. Everybody knew everybody,” said Rhonda Blevins, a life-long Grovetown resident. “I like the fact that we’re growing, but we’ve got so much growth, it’s going crazy around here.”

Cheyenne Barris and her husband moved to Fort Gordon only two years ago and even they can feel a shift.

“Traffic-wise, I feel like there’s a lot of people here just because the roads get so busy,” said Cheyenne Barris, an army wife.

But by the end of the year the Department of Defense says Fort Gordon could see an additional 2,000 soldiers. And that doesn’t include their families, support staff, or contractors. Now it’s Costa Pappis’ job to figure out how the CSRA can accommodate that.

“What we’re trying to do is get an understanding of what exactly the impacts are going to be on the area’s housing, public infrastructure, the school systems, the hospitals,” said Costa Pappis, project manager for the CSRA Regional Commission.

By the end of the year-long assessment, the CSRA Regional Commission hopes to have a plan in place to address the areas where the region falls behind. But Pappis says there’s a plus-side to all of this, too.

“The idea here is to increase jobs in the area and the presence of even more servicemembers in that field will be helpful for those efforts,” said Pappis.

The CSRA Regional Commission wants to hear from the public as they do their assessment. They’ll also hold four public forums. The dates for those haven’t been announced yet. If you’re interested in submitting feedback to the CSRA Regional Commission visit: Fort Gordon Regional Growth Management Plan.

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