Construction next phase of UWG campus project

by Celia Shortt

The new University of West Georgia satellite campus in Newnan is remaining on track and construction on the new sections should begin soon.

Hasco W Craver IV, Newnan’s business development director, announced at Wednesday’s monthly Downtown Development Authority meeting that temporary lights and power have been installed at the project site on Jackson Street, and he is working with the city and UWG to decide on furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the new campus.

Craver said it was “exciting that we’re finally getting to the construction portion of the project.”

An underground storage tank on the Carmichael Street portion of the property was also removed. Craver said no problems with it were found.

The DDA is also discussing converting the old jail building on Madison Street into a incubator space for small businesses. It would have smaller spaces, cheaper rent, and allow entrepreneurs to flesh out ideas.

It will be a “way to incubate and grow small business,” said Craver. “I think it’s one of the last things we’re not doing that we can do.”

“It’s a nice exciting space to use,” said DDA Chairman Casey Smith. “I’ve been thinking about it for years.”

The DDA is also interested in partnering with the Coweta School System’s Central Educational Center on the facility.

Currently the building is being used for storage by the city and has not yet been released to the DDA.

In other business:

• Craver reported that Mongkoltep Thai restaurant recently closed and a new Thai and sushi restaurant out of Decatur will be filling their space on north Court Square.

• The downtown kiosk project is out to bid. Sealed proposals need to be received by Monday, March 17 at 10 a.m. The DDA’s budget for the project is roughly $8,000.

• The DDA will be revisiting its three- to five-year plan to make sure they are on track on where they need to be and adjusting as needed.

• Mainstreet Manager Courtney Collins reported that the Spring Art Walk will be sponsored by Panoply Interior Design. So far they have 29 businesses who will be participating in the event.

• The First Friday of April is on April 4 and will feature “Screen on the Green” at the First Avenue park. The movie shown will be “Frozen.”

• The MainStreet Market Days will begin in April, and they have accepted applications for two food trucks.

• The DDA decided to change their monthly meeting time to 8 a.m. rather than at noon. The next will be Wednesday, April 9, at 8 a.m.

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