by Celia Shortt
On Monday the city of Newnan and the University of West Georgia will officially break ground on the new UWG Newnan campus near downtown.
The new campus will be at the site of the former Newnan Hospital, at 80 Jackson Street, just north of the downtown business district.
The public is invited to attend the celebratory event at 11:30 a.m. Monday with Newnan city leaders and officials with other groups involved in the project. Representatives of UWG, Mayor Keith Brady, and members of the Newnan City Council will be participating.
"This is one of the most exciting projects we've ever undertaken," said Brady earlier this year about the new campus. "It will have a huge impact on the economy."
The Newnan Hospital Redevelopment Project is a partnership between the city of Newnan, the Newnan Hospital board, Coweta County, UWG, and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
The project will move and expand the current Newnan campus housed at the Shenandoah Industrial Park. The redevelopment will increase instructional space from 15,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet in the first phase of construction. The second phase will bring the total instructional space to 87,000 square feet. Included in the plans is a new lecture hall.
In addition to the facilities expansion, the selection of course offerings will also be expanded.
In terms of economic impact for the community, according to the UWG’s Center for Business and Economic Research, this project will bring $21 million to Newnan during the constructional phase and create 176 jobs. Long-term, it is expected to generate between $1.4 million and $3.4 million in the community each year.
Work on the new campus has already begun. The asbestos abatement and demolition on the old hospital property began at the end of August, with some of the buildings set to come down in the middle of September.
Even though work started in August, “you won’t see anything until mid-September” said Newnan Business Development Director Hasco W. Craver IV.
Classes at the new UWG Newnan campus are slated to begin January of 2015.
The budget for this project is $15 million and includes plans to preserve original historic parts of the hospital buildings. The Georgia Board of Regents voted Jan. 8, 2012, to approve purchasing the property, and the Newnan City Council approved contracts to move the project forward on Jan. 22.
The Newnan Hospital Board will donate all the land and give about $4.2 million toward the project. Coweta County will give slightly more than $500,000 over a 10-year period. Once the project is completed, the Board of Regents will buy the complex for $5 million.