GRU could expand campus to historic mills - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

GRU could expand campus to historic mills

GRU could expand campus to historic mills

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Augusta city leaders are offering the historic Sibley and King mills to Georgia Regents University.

GRU officials have toured the mills and the Georgia Board of Regents is considering letting GRU rent the property from the city.

"I think our campus could be expanded, we do need more room especially for parking," said GRU student Taylor Bracken.

Bracken may not have as much trouble finding a place to park if GRU decides to lease the downtown mills from the city.

The mills off Broad Street have one million square feet of space and that's space the school needs.

"We're definitely going to need more space with the merger, they're expecting us to expand our numbers and I don't think that the space we have now is adequate for the number of classrooms and programs that they want to implement," said Caitlyn Hess, a GRU student.

"I think it's good because it's crowded around here," said GRU student Amy Justus.

If they rent the property, GRU would decide how they would use the mills for classrooms, living space and parking.

But before the city can lease the property they have to determine how much it will cost to renovate the buildings. They don't how much it will cost yet, but they hope to fund the restoration with public and private dollars.

"We're on track to go to the altar with GRU at this point and we hope that this is a marriage that works very well," said District 7 Commissioner, Donnie Smith.

Damonte Bowie, a GRU student, says his main concern is the distance between the Summerville campus and the downtown mills.

"I think it does make it difficult as far as transportation goes for some students to come from one campus to another just for classes," he said.  

Smith tells Fox54 they should know within 90 days if GRU wants the property.

The president of GRU, Ricardo Azziz, said in a statement, "The scenarios presented today could potentially allow GRU to expand its footprint in Augusta and enhance our ability to provide quality education to our students in an economically and environmentally sustainable presence for the university and the city of Augusta," said Azziz. "We have established a strong relationship with the city, and I look forward to hearing more about this potential collaboration."

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