Bridging to the Future
On a sunny day in January 2021, Augusta University leaders and guests, including the widow of Dr. Rickey Hicks, the former dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, gathered at the top of the Goss Lane parking deck to watch the final beam being raised for the bridge between the new College of Science and Mathematics building and the Interdisciplinary Research Building, a milestone for the $70 million project that moves the College of Science and Mathematics from the Summerville Campus to the heart of the Health Sciences Campus.
“The bridge is more than symbolic, but it is a great symbolism of bridging the undergraduate College of Science and Mathematics — primarily the undergraduate component — with the health sciences and graduate degrees and graduate opportunities that we have here,” said President Brooks Keel.
Thanks to efficiencies in other parts of the project, the bridge and the research space on the fourth floor (originally intended to be shelled space) were able to be built out with money allocated for the initial project.
Ground was broken for the 125,000-square-foot building in August 2019 at a ceremony celebrating the vision of Hicks, who first championed the idea of moving the mostly undergraduate College of Science and Mathematics students to the Health Sciences Campus, where they would be shoulder to shoulder with researchers and graduate students in the programs they might aspire to join.
“By moving down here and by connecting the fourth floor, which is going to be our research laboratory space in the new building, with the Interdisciplinary Research Building really makes us a part of the research infrastructure of Augusta University, so fundamental research that is being done in units such as the College of Science and Mathematics can complement the clinical research and translational research and basic medical science research that typically goes on in a Health Sciences University,” said Dr. John Sutherland, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.
Classes are scheduled to begin in the new building in the fall of 2021.