Cyber Institute adds to growing cyber hub in downtown Augusta

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 6:46 PM EST
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News 12 NBC 26 @ 11:00 / Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- City leaders are welcoming the growth from the downtown security development with open arms.

"I think that's a tremendous opportunity for us as a city. It gives the university an opportunity to grow. It gives our city an opportunity to grow as well, as this investment is being made, and the number of jobs that will be spawned off of it, again, is just tremendous." Mayor Hardie Davis said.

Right now the old Woolworth's building looks like empty space and dusty floors. But it's turning into it's own cyber center, the Augusta Innovation Zone.

"We want to create a space where people can really gather and grow but they need a place to go when they get too big enough that they don't fit in the space anymore," John Cates with the Augusta Innovation Zone said.

Another empty space is going to be filling that need, the Augusta Golf and Gardens.

"I worked while I was in office to try to get that space filled and it's really just been empty for decades now," Deke Copenhaver said.

But not anymore. This adds to a number of empty, old buildings that are turning cyber including Sibley Mill, Unisys, the Suntrust building, and more. It's growing a cyber community right in downtown Augusta.

"I'm really excited about what's going on in August up from a technology standpoint," Tommy Wofford said.

The new state cyber center is supposed to be public-private and it's already attracting private interest.

"To be able to brainstorm at the Augusta Innovation Zone and then bring their business to the Golf and Gardens is really just going to be symbiotic relationship I really could not be more thrilled," Copenhaver said.

Creating an entire community for cyber in one spot.

"You can go from being a student all the way up to owning your own tech company without ever having to leave Augusta," Cates said.

And turning Augusta's potential into progress.

"This is a high-quality investment this is going to be high but quality high earning it overall people coming here," Wofford said.

"I want people to say why can't we be more like Augusta and I think that's what's about to happen," Copenhaver said.