For the first time in its more than 40-year history, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy’s program in Augusta has its own facility. Open house festivities of a newly acquired and renovated location were held in late January. Susan Fagan, assistant dean of the campus, who provided oversight of the project, told the more than 100 guests and attendees at the event that inspiration for the design of the facility came from collaborative efforts with building and design experts, faculty members and students enrolled in the program.
“With this new site, we’ve more than doubled the educational space for our expanded course offerings in Augusta,” said Fagan, the Albert W. Jowdy Distinguished Research Professor and the college’s interim director of Interprofessional Education. “In addition, classroom and small group areas feature state-of-the-art technology and connectivity, allowing us to provide a truly superior academic experience for our professional pharmacy (Pharm.D.), and graduate students.”
Prior to this new site, the program was housed in various rented and shared facilities throughout the years.
The college obtained approval from the Georgia Board of Regents and a long-term ground lease from Augusta University in 2015, and the $3.2 million demolition and renovation project got underway in January 2016. Eight months later, the 10,000-plus square feet site, located on the Augusta University Health Science campus and adjacent to the Augusta University Medical Center, opened its doors to students. The new facility offers a 50-seat classroom, eight small group learning spaces that feature video connectivity to other UGA College of Pharmacy campuses across the state, a collaboration lounge, faculty and administrative offices, and a full-service kitchen and break area. Designs for the project were developed by May Architecture + Interiors of Atlanta; construction of the facility was completed by the Augusta office of Christman Construction, Inc.; and Ben Liverman, UGA Office of University Architects was the project manager.
A second phase of the Augusta expansion is planned for the near future and will support the college’s Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, which aims to identify new treatments for difficult to care for diseases, such as cancer, stroke, dementia and heart disease. The new laboratory space will support the planned expansion of the Masters in Pharmacy programs on the Augusta campus.
The College of Pharmacy campus in Augusta provides an academic setting for 30 third-year students, 40 fourth-year students, eight doctoral students, eight residents, along with 2 post-doctoral fellows, an international exchange visitor and five staff members. Students enrolled in the program gain experiential learning through rotations at University Hospital, Augusta University Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, and other community healthcare settings. In addition, the site also hosts staff who administer the Medication Access Program, which provides needed medications to transplant patients in Georgia.
Other campuses of the UGA College of Pharmacy include the main campus in Athens, Savannah, Albany, and a pharmaceutical regulatory affairs program in Gwinnett.