The former Navy Supply Corps School has been transformed into the University of Georgia’s Health Sciences Campus with 200 staff and faculty positions.
The University of Georgia (UGA) Health Sciences Campus opened on the site of the former Navy Supply Corps School in 2012 and is home to the UGA College of Public Health, and the Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership. UGA developed and successfully implemented a deliberate, phased approach to renovating each of the former naval training facilities and repurposing them to meet the specific programming demands of the University’s various health programs, and the support functions required to provide a comprehensive student learning environment. All portions of the property received through a public benefit conveyance (PBC) from the Navy to the Department of Education are in use by the University to support its educational mission at a level consistent with the phased commencement of the new campus.
The State of Georgia invested significant resources and has met its commitment to continue training physicians and public health professionals to address the serious health care needs of the state’s population. In 2012, the College of Public Health officially held its first classes there while the College’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics became the first UGA unit to call the new campus home. There are now with more than 200 faculty and staff, 900 students, and more than $30 million in active research funding on the campus.
The Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) provided professional development through logistics, administrative, and media training for Department of Defense and international personnel. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the transfer of operations from NSCS to Newport, Rhode Island, resulting in the loss of 188 civilian and contract positions, and an annual payroll of $8.7 million.
The former Navy campus included 350,000 square feet of office and instruction space across 27 buildings on 59 acres of land. One building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and six are a part of the National Register of Historic Places Oglethorpe Avenue District. In addition, there are 56 housing units, and 174 dormitory rooms on site. Aside from removing two underground gas tanks, environmental remediation was not necessary as the campus had been used for educational purposes for more than 150 years.
Athens-Clarke County, as the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA), undertook a proactive and transparent approach to the public outreach process from its inception. The LRA began by soliciting input from the public concerning the goals of the reuse plan through a series of public meetings in which written suggestions and comments were gathered, documented, and incorporated into the reuse planning document. The result was the LRA goals to:
The Department of the Navy offered the NSCS property first to other federal entities through their 90-day federal screening process; however, no federal users applied for the property. The Navy then declared the NSCS property surplus, and the LRA began the public outreach process to state, local and homeless assistance providers consistent with the Redevelopment Act of 1994. The formal public outreach process ran five months. The LRA received nine Notices of Interest (NOIs). Two NOIs were submitted by state and local entities for PBC transfers: Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services (for parks and recreation), and UGA (for educational purposes). The LRA determined that UGA’s proposal to use the entire site for a medical campus would lead to the most new jobs and economic benefit for the community.
Seven NOIs were submitted by homeless assistance providers. Six of these came from the Northeast Georgia Homeless Coalition, which had coordinated across five different organizations to address gaps in existing services for homeless individuals and families. In May 2007, the LRA voted unanimously to accommodate the six proposals off-site. The agreement required the end-user of the actual Navy School property to provide funds to purchase land and buildings to accommodate the proposals. The LRA created a non-profit organization, the Athens Homeless Property Corporation, to receive these funds, find the land, purchase or build the buildings, and lease the buildings to the five agencies through a 30-year contractual lease agreement that will be renewable for an additional 20 years. ARCH Village’s 18 supportive family housing units, the Athens Resource Center, and a daycare center all opened in 2016 on the East Side of Athens.
Updated October 2020