A new UWG campus moves closer

Tuesday was a huge day for the city of Newnan and, in fact, all of Coweta County.

City council approved three big contracts - architectural, construction and environmental compliance - as part of the $15 million project to convert the old Newnan Hospital into a new University of West Georgia campus here.

This is major. And it’s taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people to see this day, as Mayor Keith Brady said Tuesday. We thank everyone for their hard work on this important project.

A university study estimated a $21 million one-time economic impact with 176 jobs created during the construction phase. Annual operational and student expenditures are estimated between $1.4 million and $3.4 million. That’s a big economic boost to our community.

More important, UWG is expanding its offerings to make this satellite campus even more important in terms of higher educational offerings. And that makes the Newnan campus even more attractive for local potential students. It also provides an even more educated workforce for our local businesses. Employers and students don’t have to look outside of Coweta to find future employees and a solid education.

We are fortunate to have the willingness of so many different governmental agencies, private boards and public systems working together for the benefit of all. It is nearly impossible to get so many different groups together and be willing to help out.

As an example, Newnan Hospital Inc., which owns the property, will donate the land, buildings and kick in about $4.2 million. Coweta County has agreed to provide $535,000 over 10 years for the college campus project. 

The city is considering issuing up to $15 million in bonds for the hospital/UWG project. It is expected the actual bond amount, if the city goes that way, will be closer to $10.8 million. It is one of the biggest projects ever by the city.

Once the project is completed, with an expected handover in January 2015, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents has agreed to buy the renovated property for $5 million.

As we said, there are a lot of different groups playing key roles in this endeavor. To all, we say thank you and look forward to groundbreaking.

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