The U.S. Department of Education notified UGA President Michael F. Adams March 24 of its contingent approval of UGA’s application to acquire the 58-acre Navy Supply Corps School property in Athens through a public benefit conveyance to create a centralized health-related academic campus.
“It is important to recognize that this is just a single step in this long process, but it is a critical step that we are pleased to achieve with the help of our many partners,” Adams said. “Without the considerable support of our colleagues at the Medical College of Georgia, the Local Redevelopment Authority, Athens-Clarke County government, the board of regents, the General Assembly and the governor, we could not have made it to this significant stage in the development of medical education in Athens.”
In its letter, the department said it has requested transfer of the property from the Navy at a 100 percent public benefit conveyance discount, meaning that if the Navy approves, the property would be given to UGA without charge. Ultimate transfer will require approval by the Navy of the redevelopment plan submitted by the Local Redevelopment Authority that the property be used for educational purposes. The March 24 action places the support of the department behind that plan. In its proposal, 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 MCG/UGA Medical Education Initiative, a joint undertaking of the two institutions to create a physician education program in Athens. The department’s approval is contingent on the university obtaining the financing to make physical improvements to the campus and to carry out the educational program, among other standard conditions.
According to the letter, the U.S. Navy is expected to dispose of the Navy School property by September 2011 and, upon the Navy’s approval of the LRA plan, would assign the property to the department for conveyance to UGA. In a related action, the department formally requested that the Navy assign the property to it for the purpose of such a conveyance.