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. The medical area 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.

The Big Idea: Develop Augusta University as a downtown economic development resource by finding ways to bring students and professors downtown.
Details: On 6/29/2017, Groundbreaking on the New Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center on the AU Golf and Gardens property at the Savannah River.

On 7/29/2016, New dormitory housing was completed and students started moving into these new facilities.

On 6/24/2016, Augusta University was recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security.

On 5/11/2016, Expansion announced as part of a 72,000-square-foot renovation that will extend 5 floors up from Laney Walker Blvd. toward 15th Street and a 3-story addition crossing Laney Walker Blvd. to connect the research building to the Cancer Center.

On 5/11/2016, Augusta University announced expansion as part of a 72,000-square-foot renovation that will extend 5 floors up at Laney Walker Blvd. toward 15th Street and a 3-story addition crossing Laney Walker Blvd. to connect the research building to the Cancer Center.

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 7/29/2016, New dormitory housing complete and students started moving into the new downtown facilities.

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 on the downtown campus, development of a cyber village at the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame riverfront area, and leasing 3 floors at 699 Broad Street with building naming rights, Augusta University is having a major economic impact on Augusta's downtown.
The Big Idea: Build a 10-megawatt data center on the 20-acre property. Add cyber security companies and a training center for cyber security.
Cost: $422 million
Time: Project announced 5/5/2016 and expected to take ten years to complete starting in 2016
Details: Cape Augusta’s plans call for a 10-megawatt data center – also known as “server farms” – whose cloud-based storage capacity would be available to not only Augusta Sibley Mill tenants, but other area institutions, as well. There are no other large-scale data centers in Augusta.

The data center would be housed in the mill’s former boiler room, where the roof will be heightened by 40-feet to accommodate all the electronic gear, as well as heat exchangers to keep them cool. The most novel aspect of the center is that it would be powered and cooled by the waters of the Augusta Canal, which flow through the mill’s three built-in hydroelectric turbines at a rate of 600 million gallons a day.

Augusta Cyberworks will provide a springboard for hundreds of qualifying transitioning veterans and citizens of Augusta to seek industry leading certification and employment in the Cyber Security Industry.
Progress: Augusta-based information technology firm EDTS moved into the building in early 2017 into offices in a refurbished building on the grounds of Sibley Mill.

EDTS signed a 10-year lease on a 32,500-square-foot space in the mill’s historic “Cotton Store” building with Cape Augusta Digital Properties, the company redeveloping the mill into a high-tech business park called Augusta Cyber Works.

EDTS, which provides managed IT and cybersecurity services throughout the Southeast, will serve as the anchor tenant for the project’s first phase, which includes the refurbishment of the 136-year-old former textile mill and its surrounding property.

Phase 2 will break ground in August 2017 and will be home to UMBC Training Center's Cyber Warrior Program.

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.
Progress: Emergency Department is under construction.
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.
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.

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.
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. In 2016, groundbreaking at 627 Metcalf St. and construction of two shotgun style homes at 2010 and 2012 Battle Row. In 2016, an old warehouse at 1924 Battle Row was donated to Turn Back the Block and is being renovated. At over 3700 squre feet, it will allow ample and secure storage.
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 act as a magnet for tech companies.