On April 23, the University of Georgia paid the first $250,000 installment to the Athens Homeless Property Corp., the next step in completing transfer of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School property to the university for use as a health sciences campus.
The payment was triggered by the U.S. Department of Education’s March 21 approval of UGA’s application to acquire the Navy School property as a public benefit conveyance. With the approval of the U.S. Navy-the next step in the process-the property would be given to UGA without further charge.
Under federal law, property of military bases that are being closed is to be disposed of in a manner that benefits the homeless. The Local Redevelopment Authority charged with selecting a use for the Navy School property agreed that it would support transfer of the site as a public benefit conveyance in exchange for UGA’s payment of a total of $8 million to support local homeless programs. The first payment was due upon Education Department approval of the plan. It will be used to plan for the acquisition of replacement property and construction of offsite facilities for local homeless services providers.
“We are thrilled with the progress UGA is making with both state funding and Education Department approval,” said Buddy Allen, chair of the Athens LRA. “Receiving this first payment allows us to put into motion our plans for acquisition and construction of new facilities to serve the homeless population in Athens.”
“The community’s support and cooperation in this project has been critical, and we are very pleased that, with the support of the LRA and others, this project has moved to an important next step,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “We are well within the projected timeline and very much look forward to receiving final title to the property, at which time it is agreed we will make the remainder of the payment to the homeless corporation.”
In the proposal approved by the LRA and the Education Department, the university outlined plans to create the University of Georgia Health Sciences Center, a health-related academic campus to become the home for a range of UGA programs. It also will facilitate the UGA partnership with the Medical College of Georgia to create a physician education program in Athens.