Sunday, September 25, 2005

Navy School Rumors

So what's going to happen with the Navy School? Well, other than the obvious facts (1. It's going to close, 2. But not anytime soon) we've been just as in the dark as everyone else. As we've previously mentioned, there's a certain heirarchy for bids on the property. The federal government gets first dibs, followed by the state, then local government, then, if no one else wants it, the property is opened up to bids from the private sector.

We didn't think it had a remote chance of making it to the private sector part (sorry ARMC!), figuring that UGA would snap it up. Now however, an anonymous source with good Navy School connections informs us that there's a good chance it might not even go that far.

Seems that the federal government might have an eye on the NSCS campus after all. According to our source, the Centers for Disease Control are taking a hard look at Athens for expansion purposes.

Now, that's pretty much all we know on the CDC thing, and it is pretty early to start speculating. But hey, that's never stopped us in the past, has it?

We don't really know what to think yet on this one. On the one hand, there's the distinct possibility that we could be stockpiling anthrax or something within shouting distance of the crack editorial staff's houses (we both live near the NSCS). But, just because it's the CDC doesn't mean that we're necessarily talking about super-secure lab facilities here. In fact, we're biased of course, but in our humble opinions, Athens would be just about the worst place for a facility of that type, and there's no way the federal government is that dumb, right? (Don't answer that.)

More likely, the CDC is going to use this for benign purposes, for instance, teaming up with certain departments at UGA. (Fun fact: the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is home to quite a few of the country's top experts on bio-terrorism and food security) Or the campus, if used by the CDC could just be used for administrative functions.

Our biggest question is: how will any proposed CDC development impact the local economy, and especially the job market? Again, too soon to tell, but we'll leave it at this for now. Of course any CDC to community lobbying that will go on will stress the number of jobs that the new facility will create. We just want to make sure that those jobs are going to folks who live here, and not folks being transferred from existing facilities.

Tip us off here.

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