Fundraising begins for UWG Newnan

by Celia Shortt

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What once was small interior courtyard at the former Newnan hospital is being expanded as part of the new UWG campus in Newnan. 


Fundraising for the University of West Georgia’s new Newnan campus has begun, as the first fundraiser was held recently at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Jackson Street.

“This is so exciting to me,” said Cathy Wright, director of UWG Newnan, at the fundraiser on April 14. “I was born in that hospital. All my siblings were born there. I actually worked there as a young person, and I can’t be more thrilled.”

Carrollton-based UWG’s new Newnan satellite campus will be at the site of the old Newnan Hospital on Jackson Street. Its creation is a project among the city of Newnan, Coweta County, and the board that remains from the former Newnan Hospital.

“The generous partnership between the city, the county and the hospital board has provided us a wonderful new building in which to educate students in the Newnan and Coweta County area,” said Elizabeth Stone, a representative for UWG. “Now UWG needs to raise funds that will provide for other needs vital to our primary goal: student success.”

According to Stone, UWG’s fundraising efforts are focused in three main areas – student scholarships, facility enhancements, and funding for faculty positions.

Student scholarships are “critical to our ability to help students afford the college education they need,” said Stone.

The facility enhancements include building out the “science laboratories, classroom equipment, and technology, furniture for common spaces and study rooms, and security and access systems.”

Because of the increased number of students the new campus hopes to reach, it needs to hire “additional, well-qualified faculty focused on student and academic success.”

The fundraising efforts also provide opportunities for people to name certain areas of the new facility.

Along with Wright, other UWG and Newnan city officials attended the April 14 fundraiser. The fundraiser focused on people who have had a close relationship with the old hospital.

“This doesn’t happen everyday, folks, where a city, county, everybody comes together, and a hospital foundation donates a property,” said Dr. Kyle Marrero, president of UWG.

“It is a great day in Newnan for us to be standing here, talking about what I think is a generational event,” said Newnan Mayor Keith Brady. “When you look at Newnan and the things we’ve done and the growth we’ve had, we are in a wonderful place.”

Naming and fundraising opportunities for the new campus include:

•Nursing suite – $500,000

•Lecture hall – $500,000

•Jackson Street Quad – $250,000

•Student lobby – $200,000

•Campus quad at student entry – $150,000

•Simulation rooms (6) – $100,000 each (1 named)

•Courtyard (named) – $100,000

•Science labs (3) – $75,000 each

•Donor wall – $50,000

•Solarium (2) – $50,000 each

•Computer center (2) – $50,000 each

•Director’s suite (named) – $50,000

•Conference rooms (2) – $25,000 each

•Student study area (2) – $25,000 each

•Tutoring-Writing center – $25,000

•Classrooms (5) – $25,000 each

•Seminar rooms (2) – $25,000 each

•Teaching materials center – $25,000

•Newnan Alpha Scholarship – $125,000

•Newnan Trailblazer Scholarship – $50,000

•Newnan Center Facilities Endowment – $50,000

•Newnan Center Faculty Endowment – $50,000

•Endowed scholarships – $25,000

Commitments may be paid over a five-year period.

Bob Coggin, member of the Newnan City Council and chair of the fundraising committee, said their next step will be to expand the number of people they are reaching out to by working with those who have volunteered to host friends in their homes.

“When someone agrees to host a small group in their home we will have a representative from UWG attend and brief the guests on what we are doing and how they can participate,” said Coggin.

The fundraising committee is also determining whether to hold more events like the fundraiser on April 14.

The UWG’s Center for Business and Economic Research reported that this hospital redevelopment project will bring $21 million to Newnan during the constructional phase and create 176 jobs, and is expected to generate between $1.4 million and $3.4 million annually in the community.

On Jan. 8, 2013, the Georgia Board of Regents approved purchasing the old hospital property, and the Newnan City Council approved contracts to move the project forward on Jan. 22. Under the project, 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.

Plans are to finish the facility in time for classes to start there in January 2015.



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