Plans are now underway for renovation of the former Toys “R” Us building located on Eisenhower Parkway in Macon. The Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) Foundation recently completed the purchase of the property, and CGTC officials are now working with architects to finalize the plans to convert the retail building into the Charles H. Jones Advanced Technology Center.
Once renovated, the property will house a premier educational and training site for Georgia’s manufacturing industries. "We are delighted to be a part of this project and are grateful for the generosity of the Charles H. Jones Family Foundation for their contribution," said Rob Morton, chairman of the CGTC Foundation Board of Trustees. "We believe strongly that CGTC's efforts will strengthen our community and lead to the success of our citizens."
This project was made possible in part by a generous donation from the Charles H. Jones Family Foundation, a local foundation focused on community advancement honoring the legacy of Charles “Charlie” Jones. Jones was a former Macon developer and community advocate who left an indelible mark on central Georgia.
“Technical education is increasingly becoming a critical need and provides an excellent opportunity for the citizens of middle Georgia,” said Dwight Jones, chairman of the Charles H. Jones Family Foundation. “With the promise of resurgence in the manufacturing sector in our region and the US at large, CGTC is creating a significant opportunity in developing manufacturing job skills for middle Georgians. The Charles H. Jones Family Foundation is excited to be involved in this important project and we look forward to the substantial job creation the Advanced Technology Center is sure to foster. “
Eisenhower Parkway is traditionally one of Macon’s busiest thoroughfares. With several major retailers, as well as CGTC located nearby, College officials believe this site will be ideal for creating a comprehensive facility to provide training and support to existing manufacturing industries in the central Georgia area that will also serve to attract new employers to the region.
“The Charles H. Jones Advanced Technology Center will be a boon to our local manufacturing industries,” said Dr. Ivan H. Allen, CGTC’s president. “This Center will present a unique opportunity in the central Georgia region to support job growth and economic development. The College is glad to partner with the CGTC Foundation and be a part of the revitalization of this section of the Eisenhower corridor.”
Plans for this Center include integrated information, mechanical, and electronic engineering classrooms; state-of-the-art manufacturing and industrial labs and resources; and multiple levels of study for college students, job incumbents, and industry managers that will enable CGTC and the surrounding areas to retain and grow manufacturing and other industry jobs.
The original concept for the Charles H. Jones Advanced Technology Center was developed in response to the immediate need for support for the declining manufacturing industry in central Georgia. Officials believe this facility will serve as a catalyst for training and development of a quality workforce to attract and retain vital industry employers in the area.