Already a national leader in cybersecurity, the state of Georgia expanded its commitment to cyber innovation and education as it broke ground on a second building on the site of the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training in Augusta on January 3, 2018.
The $35 million second building will serve as an innovation and incubator hub for technology startups and will include leasable space available to the private sector supporting the state’s cybersecurity ecosystem. Construction of the new 165,000 square-foot facility is expected to be complete in December 2018, bringing the total square footage of the site to more than 330,000 square feet.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place at 2 p.m. and included brief remarks delivered by Governor Nathan Deal and other officials and private sector representatives.
The groundbreaking ceremony also marked the introduction of a logo and updated name for the center, the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training.
Governor Deal first announced plans for the Cyber Center in January 2017 and allocated $60 million for a 167,000 square-foot facility now under construction on the site. With an additional $12 million from the City of Augusta, the total investment at the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training now exceeds $100 million.
When the initial building opens in July 2018, it will house a 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. The center is aligned with Augusta University’s Cyber Institute and recently launched School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.
“This additional investment further solidifies Georgia’s position at the forefront of efforts to enhance cybersecurity in the public and private arenas with a resource unlike any other in the country,” said Governor Deal. “This facility will encourage world-class collaboration between industry leaders, startup companies, academic institutions and government in the field of cybersecurity, and provide space for private sector entities to leverage the center’s strategic resources.”
The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) is overseeing construction and operation of the Cyber Center facilities. Design and construction partners for both buildings include M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Associates as the architect, New South Construction as the general contractor, and JLL as the construction project manager.
“Everything about this project has far surpassed our expectations,” said Calvin Rhodes, State Chief Information Officer and GTA Executive Director. “From the strong and productive partnerships we’ve formed, to the speed with which construction is taking place, to the level of interest we’ve received from the private sector and other parties, we continue to gain momentum. That speaks to the importance of the state’s emphasis on cybersecurity.”
Partners in the Georgia Cyber Center include Augusta University, Augusta Technical College, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, the Georgia National Guard, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the City of Augusta, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, local school systems and private corporations.
This news release was first published January 4, 2018, on the Georgia Technology Authority website at https://gta.georgia.gov/press-releases/2018-01-04/georgia-cyber-center-celebrates-groundbreaking-second-building-jan-3.