Cyber Training and Innovation was already a big project, but it just got bigger, by 35 million dollars to be exact. Today Governor Nathan Deal annouced a second building which is set to begin its construction immediately.
Augusta University Brooks Keel calls it a pretty sweet deal not only for the students and state but the entire country.
The first building won’t be finished until July 2018. This new second one won’t be done until a year from now, Dec. 2018.
Keel says, “it will allow us to just really explode innovation. “
Innovation that he believes can start a boom for business.
Not just for business in the downtown area near the building but throughout the entire city.
“Its being able to take this piece of training to provide for the workforce and turn that into a giant magnet to bring in business to augusta.”
He told News 12, that’s going to bring more jobs and attention to Augusta.
It’s this kind of attention that Augusta University cyber students like Bryce Floyd are waiting for. Floyd is a junior who says he’s excited to get to spend at least one semester in the new second building before he graduates.
“Well i’m excited they’re investing that much into my field, and my major and i’m really happy that they’re thinking about the future.”
According to his school president Keel, it’s a future where studying cyber will transform easily into a career.
Keel said the new building is a part of a ‘concept’ where students would have class on one side of the hallway. Then after class, they could simply walk over to the other side of the hall for their internship.
New halls, new classrooms, more equipment and advanced labs are all a part of the reason why Floyd believes it made sense to add an extra building.
He believes Augusta earned it.
“This is definitely, in America, probably one of the leading areas for cyber security. “
What was only an idea a year ago– now is a steel structure with a new promise for an even bigger design.
“When Governor Nathan Deal first announced the 50 million dollar facility, then turned it into a 60 million dollar facility, there were two parts to it, innovation and training,” said Dr. Brooks Keel.
You could say Training is being built.
That’s the focus of the first building.
Innovation is the second 35 million dollar, 165,000 square foot building announced today.
It’s going to start being built immediately and will open its doors in a year.
Augusta University President Dr. Brooks Keel says moving quickly is everything in this industry.
“When you’re talking about lightning speed I can’t think of a technology that’s quicker than cyber, and beyond that cybersecurity. You have to be not just on the cutting edge but the bleeding edge to be on top of the growth with cyber,” he said.
That’s exactly what Governor Deal wants, he says these projects will help make Georgia the leader in the nation for cyber, setting Augusta and Augusta University ahead as well. While the project grows, the schools reach grows also.
“I’ve been saying for a while that’s just phase one, here’s phase two, and there’s more to come on that parcel of land there,” he said.
So the now more than 90 million dollars in cyber investments in downtown Augusta is paving the way for a brighter future from city, to the state, to the whole nation.
Governor Deal announced $35 million in funding to expand Augusta’s Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center.
According to a release from the Governor’s Communications Office, Deal said, “Given Georgia’s growing status as a technology and innovation hub, this additional investment will further cement our reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of the South.’ When complete, the center will house a cyber range, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s new cyber crime unit and an incubator for startup cybersecurity companies.”
Construction of the new facility will begin immediately. The 165,000 square foot space will serve as a training facility for information security professionals employed by state and local governments.
The space will also allow tech companies to establish fellowships, internships, and co-op programs for students and employees.
The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) will oversee the construction and the operation of the cybersecurity center facilities. The GTA is partnered with the U.S. Army Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, the Georgia, National Guard, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the City of Augusta to name a few. The GTA is also partnered with schools, colleges, and private corporations.
The first phase of the Cyber Center is scheduled to open in July. The Second is scheduled to be completed December 2018.