James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 37



ituated on the shady banks of the Savannah River,
downtown Augusta has seen fires, floods, tropical
storms, tornadoes and even a cyclone. Georgia’s second settlement has also seen times of economic boom and
decline. What we are seeing now is strong revitalization
and economic development that can all be tied— directly
or indirectly— to cybersecurity.
The Augusta Riverwalk was originally built in 1985. It
serves as a peaceful place for strolling along the river, visiting museums and historical sites, or sitting on a bench
beneath the weeping willows near the Heroes Overlook
which is a permanent historical tribute to the community’s
veterans. Augusta’s Riverwalk will be anchored on one end
by Georgia’s new Cyber Center and on the other end by the
Gordon Highway Bridge. Coincidently, Gordon Highway
will take you to Fort Gordon, the current home of NSA
Georgia, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and the
very near future home of the U.S. Army Cyber Command.
S
The Georgia Cyber Center
Gov. Nathan Deal provided almost $100 million to build
the Georgia Cyber Center positioned on Augusta
University’s (AU) Riverfront campus, just behind the downtown Riverwalk. The state-of-the-art Cyber Center will be
housed in two adjacent buildings in the growing cybersecurity corridor. It will include AU’s School of Computer and
Cyber Sciences and the Cyber Institute which was designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.
When the Georgia Cyber Center formally opens its
doors July 10, it will serve as a national hub to develop and
practice protocols for responding to cyber threats and help
fill the current and growing shortage of cybersecurity talent in Georgia and across the nation. The power of this
kind of investment helps with recruiting experienced professionals to the area.
Hull McKnight Building & Building #2
The Hull McKnight building will house Georgia’s
Cyber Range and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s
new cybercrime unit, as well as education and training
programs focused on preparing the next generation of
professionals to protect the nation from cyber threats.
Tenants will have access to a 340-seat auditorium, ample
spaces for collaboration, classrooms equipped for virtual
and on-site training, and a rooftop patio. The AugustaRichmond County Commission approved almost $15 million in bonds to build an adjacent parking deck.
The Hull McKnight building filled quickly so the state of
Georgia expanded its commitment to cyber innovation and
education as it broke ground on a second building on the
site. The 165,000 square-foot facility will include additional
space for lease by private sector partners and additional
space for innovation and growth of start-up companies.
Economic Growth
The impending relocation of the Army’s Cyber
Command Headquarters to Fort Gordon has spurred
tremendous economic opportunity throughout the region.
The skyline of downtown Augusta is undergoing a remarkable transformation. In addition to construction of new
hotels and opening of new restaurants and shops, the
YMCA made a decision to vacate its old building and
move into a newly renovated space
along with Unisys, a fortune 1000
company with 300 employees that
continued on page 38
The Augusta Riverwalk bridge
on the Savannah River
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8
37

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