Planning, Promoting, and implementing
the tomorrow of downtown Augusta, Georgia

View Gallery Harrisburg Medical Health Sciences District

The Harrisburg Medical Health Sciences District encompasses the old mill village of Harrisburg and the downtown medical area that includes Augusta University Health Science Campus with the Medical College of Georgia, University Hospital and the downtown Veterans Administration Hospital. The Harrisburg and medical districts flow into each other and development at any point in this large area affects the entire District.

HARRISBURG BLUEPRINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITIES: Georgia Conservancy
The Big Idea: Provide direction to the residents of Harrisburg to redevelop their area of the City.
Time: Completed Project - 2 years to complete
Details: In September 2010, the Georgia Conservancy met with members of the Harrisburg Committee to discuss initiating a Blueprints Project for Successful Communities in Harrisburg. Initial work began in the fall of 2010. The Community raised $25,000 toward this initiative, and the remaining funding came from a Home Depot grant. This initiative was a collaboration with the Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Institute of Technology and community organizations in Augusta.

The first community workshop was held on 2/5/2011, and the second on 3/11/2011. The workshops were facilitated by the Blueprints Team and Georgia Tech students and faculty who were the face and workforce behind the project. Harrisburg's challenges, hot issues and strengths were discussed at the meetings.

The planning study on-site work ran through May 2011. Working within the structure of the 2009 Urban Area Master Plan, the final deliverable by the students was actual recommendations for completing projects as outlined in the Master Plan.

In February 2012, "Reclaiming Historic Harrisburg, Augusta, Georgia was unveiled to the Augusta community. This was the culmination of the Blueprints Project and provided the Harrisburg Community with real life implementation suggestions for making positive changes in Harrisburg.
Progress: On 2/15/2011, the Harrisburg Blueprints Project was unveiled to the community. The final document, called "Reclaiming Historic Harrisburg" outlined actual recommendations for completing projects as outlined in the 2009 Master Plan, "The Westobou Vision." The Harrisburg Blueprints final document can be found on the Resources page of this website.
MARKET CREATION PROJECT: HARRISBURG CANAL VILLAGE
The Big Idea: In the spirit of the retail that served Harrisburg in the early 20th Century, develop a new mixed-use retail and housing center along the Augusta Canal
Cost: $100 million private funds, $25 million public funds (in 2009 dollars).
Time: 10 to 20 years
Details: In the spirit of the mixed-use retail center that served the Harrisburg area in the early twentieth century, the Harrisburg Village Market Creation Project is proposed to not only transform the area along Broad Street and the First Level of the Augusta Canal, but also to revive the neighborhood's image and identity.

The First Level of the Augusta Canal from Chaffee Park eastward (toward downtown) to the historic Archibald Butt Bridge offers nearly a mile of high quality waterfront. An up-scale, European-styled canal village is proposed for the south side of the Augusta Canal that would also allow more direct access to the water.

At Broad Street, the village would flow into a new neighborhood center of mixed historic and site-appropriate construction. Retail development would be supported by the combination of new surrounding residential and increased street traffic along the Broad Street corridor.

In summary, this Market Creation Project would consist of building residential units along the south side of the first level of the Augusta Canal, create a new 80,000 square foot commercial center along Broad Street, re-establish canal pathways, improve the Broad Street streetscape, relocate power lines and re-use Sibley Mill and King Mill.

In 2013, the Augusta Canal Authority started working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for funding to oversee clean-up on the contaminated portions of Sibley Mill. The clean-up was completed in early 2016.
Progress: In May 2016, it was announced that Sibley Mill would be redeveloped into a 10-megawatt data center to meet the growing data needs of Augusta's burgeoning cyber industry and would act as a magnet for tech companies.
KROC CENTER
Time: 2 1/2 years to complete.
Details: Kroc Center Vision Statement:
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Augusta's vision is to provide excellent programs, facilities and services that will promote positive life changing experiences for all people of the Greater Augusta Area.

Background
In 2004, the estate of Joan Kroc made the largest single bequest ever to a charitable organization ($1.7 billion) to The Salvation Army earmarked to build and endow Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers across the United States. Nationally, The Salvation Army studied the bequest to determine if the Kroc Centers prescribed parameters were in keeping with the Salvation Army's overall mission. It was determined the centers, once built, had the potential to increase The Salvation Army's ability to serve more people and was not in opposition to the existing mission: To conduct a ministry to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Augusta's Kroc Center Story:
In 2006, The Salvation Army in Augusta gathered a coalition of partners to make application for and was awarded the authorization to develop a Kroc Center. The approved proposal brought $33.9 million for construction and $33.9 million for an operational endowment, provided Augusta raised another $30 million for the endowment. The Salvation Army earmarked sufficient funds from its operations budget in Augusta to reduce the new money required to be raised locally from $30 million to $20 million. The campaign ended with over $22 million raised for the operating endowment, and The Salvation Army in Augusta received funding in the amount of $33.9 million for a community center and a permanent operations endowment of over $55 million.

The Salvation Army's Kroc Corps Community Center building includes over 100,000 square feet of programming space with a 77,000 square foot complex located on a 17 acre site in the historic mill community of Harrisburg. Nestled along the Augusta Canal, the center campus is comprised of one main building designed to complement the nearby Sibley Mill and King Mill and a 10,000 square foot building that houses the First Stop Family Service Center. In addition, there is an expansive park space. Several historic homes and even an historic church were renovated to become part of the programming on the campus.
Progress: The Kroc Center was officially dedicated on 7/17/2011.
TURN BACK THE BLOCK
The Big Idea: Rehabilitate vacant and abandoned housing stock in Harrisburg for sale to people who have modest but steady incomes.
Time: The Broad Street pilot project was completed in 4 years.
Details: In March 2010, the Harrisburg Implementation Team established an Augusta branch of the Fuller Center for Housing with the mission of revitalizing Harrisburg by capitalizing on rehabilitating the vacant and abandoned housing stock, through volunteer labor, and making it available for sale to people who have modest but steady incomes.

In August 2010, the Augusta-Harrisburg Fuller Center for Housing, branding their initiative as "Turn Back the Block," sponsored the first Block Party workday.

In November 2011, "Turn Back the Block" sold their first home. On 4/26/2013, the second home was sold.
Progress: As of December 2013, 4 of the 5 homes on the Broad Street "pilot" project of "Turn Back the Block" are complete and occupied or have candidates lined up to take ownership in 2014. Construction efforts moved to Battle Row and Metcalf in 2014.
Augusta University
The Big Idea: Develop Augusta University as a downtown economic development resource by finding ways to bring students and professors downtown.
Details: On 4/16/2016, The Army Cyber Center of Excellence signed an agreement with AU to work together and become a major force for training thousands of students and service members in cyber security.

On 2/3/2016, AU unveiled its new master plan. Included in that master plan is transforming both the health sciences campus and the Summerville Campus. One of the biggest changes is moving the College of Science and Mathematics from the Summerville Campus to the Health Sciences campus.

On 9/15/2015, the Georgia Regents University name was officially changed to Augusta University by the Georgia Board of Regents.

On 4/1/2015, Augusta University (AU) hosted a groundbreaking for a new 724-bed student dormitory complex on the Health Sciences Campus (downtown campus).

On 10/16/2014, grand opening of Education Commons Building that reflects a new way of teaching and learning. Every feature of the new building was built with the aim of modernizing education.

2/06/2010/ grand opening of Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center.

Progress: With Augusta University's new focus on students living downtown, in the next couple of years, the downtown will see much economic development.
University Hospital
The Big Idea: Founded in 1818, University Health Care System is anchored by University Hospital, a 581-bed, not-for-profit facility in downtown Augusta.
Details: University Hospital is a major force in Augusta's healthcare and is located in the heart of the Harrisburg Medical Health Sciences District. The hospital continues to grow and evolve to serve its patients. From opening a Heart & Vascular Institute, to a new Outpatient Center to expanding services to surrounding counties, University Hospital continues to be patient oriented. The Hospital has been working with Augusta University's Medical College of Georgia to train residents and partnered with Augusta University in 2015 to purchase a surgery center in Columbia County to maximize the use of existing facilities. In 2016, the hospital announced that was expanding its Emergency Department. This $30 million expansion is being undertaken to better treat the 80,000 emergency visits each year.