The more than 160,000-square foot building, at Augusta University’s future downtown riverfront campus, will also feature classroom space for the university and state technical colleges. The research facilities will be cleared for top secret work and include a “cyber range” where new cyberwarfare capabilities can be created and tested.
Gov. Nathan Deal said the nation has never needed a training facility like this more than today, citing a range of threats to the private sector and government from rogue hackers and groups backed by nation-states.
“The attack is ever present and it is something we all need to be aware of,” Deal said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Augusta is a major hub in the government’s sprawling intelligence-gathering network.
Thousands of code breakers, cyber security researchers, intelligence analysts, IT experts and other specialists — military members and private contract employees — work in the intelligence community at Fort Gordon, which includes an NSA installation, and more are on their way.
In November, Army broke ground on its new Cyber Command, which will open its first phase in 2018. Fortune magazine in April listed Augusta as one of the seven cities in the world that “could become the world’s cybersecurity capital.”
More land is available on the 17-acre campus, and Augusta University President Brooks Keel said additional phases of the campus are possible in the years ahead.
In addition to the state’s investment, city leaders also have committed up to $12 million for a parking facility.