Leasing requests for Central State Hospital’s Jones 286, Chapel No. 3 and Wilkes buildings were approved in last Thursday’s State Properties Commission (SPC) meeting chaired by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Three interested parties including Pastor Harold B. Simmons’ outreach ministry, technology and business consulting firm Cogentes and an analytical training laboratory (CAPS-ATL) will soon call CSH home.
“We should have the leases completed by the end of July, so folks can start rolling in there,” Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) executive director Mike Couch said.
The lease agreements will be built on a formula that gives the incoming entities credit for improving and investing in the buildings.
Couch said he is glad to see the state partner with the CSHLRA for increased activity.
“I’m really pleased as we work on terms that we are going to be able to get some constructive credits through job creation and investment in the buildings. That’s all good,” Couch said Monday.
• Church outreach
Simmons, on behalf of Anointed Teaching & Outreach Ministry Church, sent a letter of interest concerning Chapel No. 3 nearly one year ago. He admits it’s been a long process.
The excited pastor said the outreach ministry will “bring that vitality to the south side area through church services and different types of events.”
“Later down the road, the church will probably be offering some type of summer programs and things to help the less fortunate,” Simmons said.
Bringing the community back to the old hospital campus could open more development windows, according to Simmons.
He’s heard the naysayers, but is pleased to be a part of the new CSH vision.
“Overall, Milledgeville needs their hands on it, so they can make things happen in the community. There is going to be new energy. People are going to come into the area and look around the different buildings, which may give others ideas about what can take place out of the old Central State property,” Simmons said. “If we change our mindset about what Central State was to what it can be, I think we can make some great things happen out there. There are a lot of people waiting to see what happens to these properties. Others will come on board.”