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Campus Master Plan: Research corridor taking shape

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Construction has begun on a $62.5 million expansion project at the Augusta University Cancer Center, marking a significant step forward in the Campus Master Plan, which calls for expanding the university’s research footprint.

The 170,000-square-foot cancer research facility on the corner of Laney Walker and R.A. Dent boulevards is extending upward and outward, gaining 72,000 square feet of new space and 6,000 square feet of renovations to become the Augusta University Cancer Center M. Bert Storey Research Building, in recognition of the Augusta philanthropist and university supporter.

A significant phase of the project includes creating a three-story connector between the cancer research and outpatient services building that will physically link the clinical and research missions as Augusta University continues the momentum toward National Cancer Institute designation. The design provides quality research space to support multidisciplinary collaborations and translational research, which is essential to creating an environment that promotes innovation.

“Research is an important part of Augusta University’s mission to add to the body of knowledge on important issues and to put that knowledge to work to improve the lives of Georgians. As we fulfill our charge to be the fourth public research university in Georgia, we will need to continue to enhance our capabilities in these areas,” said Augusta University President Brooks Keel. “The Campus Master Plan contains the blueprint for that expected growth.”

In part, the increase will represent renovations of older, existing buildings as well as the addition of new facilities that will be available for interdisciplinary research and translational research, according to Senior Vice President of Research Michael Diamond.

“The goal of expanding research infrastructure along Laney-Walker Boulevard is to allow co-localization of investigators from different colleges,” said Diamond.

By locating new research buildings adjacent to existing research buildings along the Laney-Walker corridor, Augusta University can leverage existing infrastructure for new programs and benefit from the efficiencies of a consolidated research enterprise.

Clinical and translational research programs at Augusta University focus on three key areas that disproportionately affect the health of Georgians: cancer, cardiometabolic disease and neurological disease including stroke. The University is also developing three emerging areas of research strength: regenerative and reparative medicine, personalized medicine and genomics and public and preventive health.

The Campus Master Plan details a roadmap for transformational change over the next decade that will strengthen the university’s position as a destination of choice for education, health care, discovery, creativity and innovation. The plan encompasses the Summerville, Health Sciences and Forest Hills campuses and identifies challenges and opportunities in existing physical settings that support the academic, research, clinical and student life domains.

The Campus Master Plan, while comprehensive in nature, is a fluid document intended to maintain flexibility in keeping with an ever-changing university.

More information will be released in the coming weeks on other facets of the Master Plan.

About the author

Haley Hughes

Haley Hughes is the Facilities Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-729-2098 or hhughes@augusta.edu.