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City OK's campus, library
City, county, authority may put AASU downtown
2009-06-04 Council Meeting Page 65
A preliminary streetscape shows how the campus would sit along Memorial Drive.
The Hinesville City Council Thursday committed to pay a fourth of the cost to build and maintain a 42,000 square foot Armstrong Atlantic State University Liberty Center.
The new campus would be on Memorial Drive and would include 20,000 square foot public library.
According to City Manager Billy Edwards, the city, Liberty County and the Liberty County Development Authority are all being asked to pay $40,000 a year for about 30 years to maintain the facility.
Liberty County will also use almost $5 million of special purpose local option sales tax funds for the construction of the library portion of the facility.
“Armstrong is going to basically be a tenet and pay rent to the library,” Dr. Joe Weaver, director of the Liberty Center, said in reference to sharing the venue.
Edwards said the exact amount they’re going to pay is still undetermined, but will be between $160,000-$200,000 per year.
The city is the first of the three local partners to commit to the funding or the location of the project. The others will discuss their options at later meetings.
“We’d like to start as soon as we get the money from the other two entities,” Mayor Jim Thomas said. “Then we’ll start the planning and design phases.”
Besides agreeing to commit their portion of the funding, the council also approved the location. If agreed upon by the other two partners, the building will be on Memorial Drive at its corner with Welborn Street.
According to preliminary renderings, the main building would be three-stories (15,253 square feet) and would have two satellite buildings (6,600 sq. ft. each) jutting off the sides, connected with walkways. Tentatively, there would be a third satellite building (6,600 sq. ft.) across Memorial at Rebecca Street.
Edwards said the partners are negotiating with property owners for the land needed.
Other sites considered included one on Martin Luther King Drive and one on Airport Road. Weaver said the Memorial site, however, would be most beneficial in helping develop the downtown, a long-time city goal.
Because they’re still in preliminary stages not all the details have been decided, including which partner will take the lead, the architect which they will use and what the facility will look like.
Weaver is anticipating the buildings will house classrooms and office space.
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