31 Jul 2017 1995 MASTER PLAN UPDATE
2/1995: LDR International unveiled the 1995 Master Plan Update. This Plan proposed ways to link, physically and economically, the riverfront to Broad Street and the central core of downtown Augusta. On a larger scale, this new Plan also first addressed linking Augusta’s largest employment center, the “Hospital Complex” with the downtown core. The 1995 Plan Update also proposed the creation of a new economic development initiative, the “Enterprise Research Center”, as a way to provide a physical and economic linkage to the downtown area from the “Hospital Complex”. The idea of a Performing Arts Center was first discussed in this Update, although as a second priority project that needed further investigation. Some of the priority projects proposed in this master plan update were:
• Augusta Common – Build Phase I from Broad Street to Reynolds Street.
• Springfield Village Park – Build Park to commemorate the very significant historical importance of Springfield.
• National Science Center and Science Plaza. Collaboration recommended with the U.S. Army.
• Redevelopment of Granite Mill.
• Georgia Golf Hall of Fame
• St. Sebastian Way extension
• Laney Walker Redevelopment – Continue this priority project with action items to include: Laney Walker Shopping Center expansion, Richmond County Department of Health relocation from Broad Street to Laney-Walker Boulevard and streetscape improvements.
4/10/1995: GreenJackets open new $3.8 million stadium at Lake Olmstead with room for 4322 fans. “We have accomplished something I set out to do when I first purchased the ballclub. To finally see that come to fruition is very satisfying, very exciting. It’s been a long haul”, said Bill Scripps, GreenJackets owner.
Mid-1990s: The St. Sebastian Way roadway concept was first introduced by Augusta Tomorrow, Inc. representatives to Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel in the office of then Georgia Tenth District DOT board member (and former State Senator) James L. Lester. As envisioned by Augusta Tomorrow, Inc., the extension would have ended at a tie-in to the 1400 block of Reynolds Street. DOT engineers, however, deemed a longer route essential to serve long-term needs. The project moved ahead under Mr. Lesters aegis and, later, that of his DOT board successor Mr. William B. Kuhlke, Jr.
St. Sebastian Way was created not only to improve traffic around rail lines, but also to provide a new and more direct connection between the Medical District at Walton Way and downtown Augusta and to facilitate development of the Medical District along this roadway.