Thursday, August 22, 2019
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta University is growing.
The school broke ground Friday morning on the construction of a new College of Science and Mathematics building.
According to the university, this move will better connect the health sciences and medical education on the Health Sciences Campus with the liberal arts education and professional degrees on Summerville.
Because many students in the College of Science and Mathematics want to pursue careers in the health field, the hope is the new location of the building will allow them closer access to AU's health schools, and eventually encourage them to stay in Augusta for their continued education.
It will also provide more opportunities for the undergraduates to get hands-on experience within the health science community.
"We expect a large number to be able to work on the Health Science Campus when we're sitting down right here in the middle of these other groups," said Dr. John Sutherland, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.
The school's $70 million design is a 125,000 square foot building that will "help enhance Augusta University’s attractiveness to students as the university continues pursuing enrollment growth."
"The addition of research laboratories in the new building will equip faculty and students to conduct scientific research and support the creation of additional graduate programs," a statement from the school says.
The building also has some sentimental significance as well. Dr. Sutherland says the project was the brainchild of the former dean, Dr. Rickey Hicks. Originally, he said when Dr. Hicks proposed building on the Health Sciences Campus, most university higher-ups thought the proposal was audacious.
Hicks passed away unexpectedly in early 2017. His wife and daughter were at the groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning in his honor. Dr. Sutherland says this building is his legacy to the university.
Sutherland says the building is expected to be move-in ready in 2021.
Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved