Augusta University preps for more students and campus growth for years to come

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - So far, 2021 has been a year of growth for Augusta University. With new programs, new buildings, new dorms, and more people, the question is: where will it all go?

The goal is to get to 16,000 students by 2030, and the school says there’s a lot more to come.

We spoke with several neighbors about the growing university, and they have been feeling the impact the most over here.

They say cars line the street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it’s been getting worse year after year.

Progress is being made on the new college of science and math building. AU President Dr. Brooks Keel says it’s a testament to the growth of the university.

“We’re getting more and more students and in fact, we’re getting more record number of applicants for the fall of 2021 so the growth for the university is tremendous,” Keel said.

With space already limited as it is, and enrollment on the rise each year, some growing pains are to be expected.

“Growing pains are a good thing to have when you start talking about students, but we have to have the type of environment that’s going to want to keep students here once they come,” Keel said.

That means more dorms are in the works and a new parking deck might be coming. It’s something that homeowners on Holly Street say is needed because of this: students lining the streets because of limited parking on campus.

“It’s really dangerous let’s put it that way... It’s rough,” Resident Moses Johnson said.

And the only way to stop people from blocking you in is to put up some cones and a sign.

“A while back I heard someone had an ambulance came back here on this street and around the road to pick up somebody and they couldn’t get to them because the students were parked in the way,” Johnson said.

Another business owner who owns this store says he’s losing customers because there’s nowhere for them to park.

Neighbors say going to the city has been a dead-end too.

“It doesn’t really get anywhere so is this going to do any good or not? I’m just hoping so. Got to make an effort,” Johnson said.

AU says they have a new $15 million research initiative they’re kicking off. They hope this program will help bring in even more students, faculty, and money to the university.

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