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Augusta, GA

Augusta, Georgia
Consolidated city-county
Riverwalk Augusta
Official logo of Augusta, Georgia
City seal and logo
Nickname(s):
The Garden City
Motto: We Feel Good
Georgia

Coordinates: 33°28′12″N 81°58′30″W / 33.47000°N 81.97500°W / 33.47000; -81.97500

Country United States
State Georgia
County Richmond County
Established 1735[1]
City-county consolidation 1996[1]
Government
 • Mayor Deke Copenhaver
 • Administrator Frederick L. Russell
Area
 • Consolidated city-county
 • Land 302.1 sq mi (782 km2)
 • Water 4.3 sq mi (11.3 km2)
 • Urban 259.52 sq mi (672.2 km2)
Elevation[2] 136 ft (45 m)
Population (2012)
 • Consolidated city-county 197,872 (US: 116th)
 • Density 816/sq mi (1,313/km2)
 • Urban 386,787
 • Urban density 1,490.4/sq mi (575.4/km2)
 • Metro 575,898 (US: 93rd)
 • CSRA 709,433
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 30901, 30904, 30906, 30907, 30909, 30912,[3] 30815[4]
Area code(s) 706, 762[5][6]
Website AugustaGA.gov

Augusta-Richmond County US /ə.ˈɡʌs.tə/ is a consolidated city-county in the U.S. state of Georgia, located at the fall line of the Savannah River, at the head of its navigable portion. According to 2012 US Census estimates, the Augusta-Richmond County population was 197,872[7] not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe.

Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, which as of 2010 had an estimated population of 556,877, making it the third-largest city and the second-largest metro area in the state after Atlanta. It is the 116th-largest city in the United States. Internationally, Augusta is best known for hosting The Masters Tournament in golf each spring.

History

The area along the river was long inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, who relied on the river for fish, water and transportation. The site of Augusta was used by Native Americans as a place to cross the Savannah River, because of its location on the fall line.

In 1735, two years after James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, he sent a detachment of troops to explore up the Savannah River. He gave them an order to build at the head of the navigable part of the river. The expedition was led by Noble Jones, who created the settlement to provide a first line of defense for coastal areas against potential Spanish or French invasion from the interior. Oglethorpe named the town Augusta, in honor of Princess Augusta, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales and mother of the future King George III of the United Kingdom. Augusta was the second state capital of Georgia from 1785 until 1795 (alternating for a period with Savannah, the first).

It was in the area of Georgia developed as the Black Belt, for large cotton plantations, after the invention of the cotton gin made use of short-staple cotton more profitable. The commodity crops were worked by enslaved Africans, many brought from the Low Country, where the Gullah culture had developed on its large Sea Island cotton and rice plantations.

Geography

Augusta is located on the Georgia/South Carolina border, about 150 miles (240 km) east of Atlanta and 70 miles (110 km) west of Columbia. The city is located at 33°28′12″N 81°58′30″W / 33.47000°N 81.97500°W / 33.47000; -81.97500 (33.470, −81.975)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Augusta-Richmond County balance has a total area of 306.5 square miles (793.8 km2). 302.1 square miles (782.4 km2) of it is land and 4.3 square miles (11.1 km2) of it (1.42%) is water.


Augusta is located about halfway up the Savannah River on the fall line, which creates a number of small falls on the river. The city marks the end of a navigable waterway for the river and the entry to the Georgia Piedmont area.

The Clarks Hill Dam is built on the fall line near Augusta, forming Clarks Hill Lake. Further downstream, near the border of Columbia County, is the Stevens Creek Dam, which generates hydroelectric power. Further downstream is the Augusta Diversion Dam, which marks the beginning of the Augusta Canal and channels Savannah River waters into the canal.[9]

Climate

As with the rest of the state, Augusta has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with short, mild winters, very hot, humid summers, and a wide diurnal temperature variation throughout much of the year. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 45.4 °F (7.4 °C) in January to 81.6 °F (27.6 °C) in July; there are 53 nights with the low reaching the freezing mark, 82 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, and 5.5 days of 100 °F (38 °C)+ annually. Extreme temperatures range from −1 °F (−18 °C) on January 21, 1985 up to 108 °F (42 °C) on August 10, 2007 and August 21, 1983. Snowfall is not nearly as common as in Atlanta, due largely to Augusta's elevation, with downtown Augusta being about 900 ft (270 m) lower than downtown Atlanta. Still, snow flurries are typically seen annually. Freezing rain is also a threat in wintertime.

Climate data for Augusta, Georgia (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
(29)
86
(30)
93
(34)
96
(36)
100
(38)
106
(41)
107
(42)
108
(42)
106
(41)
97
(36)
90
(32)
82
(28)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 57.9
(14.4)
62.3
(16.8)
69.9
(21.1)
77.3
(25.2)
85.0
(29.4)
91.0
(32.8)
93.4
(34.1)
91.8
(33.2)
86.7
(30.4)
77.7
(25.4)
69.1
(20.6)
60.0
(15.6)
76.8
(24.9)
Average low °F (°C) 32.8
(0.4)
35.9
(2.2)
42.0
(5.6)
48.1
(8.9)
57.3
(14.1)
66.2
(19)
69.8
(21)
69.3
(20.7)
62.6
(17)
51.0
(10.6)
41.4
(5.2)
34.5
(1.4)
50.9
(10.5)
Record low °F (°C) −1
(−18)
3
(−16)
12
(−11)
26
(−3)
35
(2)
46
(8)
54
(12)
52
(11)
36
(2)
22
(−6)
11
(−12)
5
(−15)
−1
(−18)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.91
(99.3)
3.92
(99.6)
4.18
(106.2)
2.84
(72.1)
2.65
(67.3)
4.72
(119.9)
4.33
(110)
4.32
(109.7)
3.22
(81.8)
3.26
(82.8)
2.81
(71.4)
3.39
(86.1)
43.55
(1,106.2)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.4
(1)
0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.9
(2.3)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.8 8.8 8.6 7.5 8.1 11.0 11.0 10.3 7.1 6.5 6.9 9.2 104.8
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.5
Source: NOAA (extremes 1874−present)[10]

Cityscape

Historic districts

Augusta Downtown Historic District is a historic district that encompasses most of downtown Augusta and its pre-Civil War area. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.[11]

Augusta also includes the:


Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18002,215
18102,47611.8%
18406,403
18509,44847.6%
186012,49332.2%
187015,38923.2%
188021,89142.3%
189033,30052.1%
190039,44118.4%
191041,0404.1%
192052,54828.0%
193060,34214.8%
194065,9199.2%
195071,5088.5%
196070,626−1.2%
197059,864−15.2%
198047,532−20.6%
199044,639−6.1%
2000195,182337.2%
2010195,8440.3%
Est. 2012197,8721.0%
Population 1800–2010.[12]

As of the 2010 census, Augusta–Richmond County had 195,844 residents. The population density was 816 people per square mile (1313/km²). There were 84,427 housing units at an average density of 279.5 per square mile (782/km²). The racial makeup of the city-county area was 54.7% Black or African American, 39.1% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% some other race, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.[13]

There were 75,208 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were headed by married couples living together, 22.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.09.[13]

In the city-county consolidated area the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.0 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.[13]

As of the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the city-county area was $37,231, and the median income for a family was $45,372. Males had a median income of $32,008 versus $23,988 for females. The per capita income for the balance was $19,558. About 13.2% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Augusta is a regional center of medicine, biotechnology, and military. Georgia Regents University, the state's only public health sciences graduate university, employs over 7,000 people. Along with University Hospital, the Medical District of Augusta employs over 25,000 people and has an economic impact of over $1.8 billion.[14]

Along with Georgia Regents University, the city's three largest employers include the Savannah River Site (a Department of Energy nuclear facility) and the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon. Despite layoffs from several companies during the U.S. economic recession and a relatively high state unemployment rate,[15] the Augusta community has experienced a decrease in bankruptcy filings[16] and saw a slight decrease in the unemployment rate from late 2009 to March 2011. However, these unemployment numbers are misleading as spring brings lower unemployment rates due to the Augusta Masters. While unemployment fell to a two-year low of 8.3% in April 2011, unemployment rates have since risen to 9.9% as of July 2011.[17]

Companies that have facilities, headquarters or distribution centers in Augusta include CareSouth, T-Mobile, Covidien, Solo Cup Company, Automatic Data Processing, International Paper, NutraSweet, Teleperformance, Sitel Corporation, E-Z-GO, Elanco, Club Car (Worldwide Headquarters), John Deere, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's and Delta Air Lines baggage call center.[18]

Sports

Teams

Augusta is home to the Augusta Greenjackets minor league baseball club. The team began play in 1988 as the Augusta Pirates, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Later affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, the Greenjackets are with the San Francisco Giants.[19] The team is owned by Cal Ripken Jr.[20]

The city's ECHL hockey team, the Augusta Lynx, disbanded in December 2008.[21]

The Southern Professional Hockey League would expand to Augusta starting in the 2010–2011 season. The Augusta Riverhawks was the winning name of the new team, the result of a "Name the Team" contest announced on March 13, 2010.[22]

The USA Rugby South Conference.

Augusta also has its own all female flat track roller derby team, The Soul City Sirens. Founded in 2008, this league is all volunteer and skater owned. [23]

Club Sport League Venue
Augusta GreenJackets Baseball South Atlantic League Lake Olmstead Stadium
Augusta Riverhawks Ice Hockey Southern Professional Hockey League James Brown Arena
Augusta Mad Dogs Rugby Palmetto Rugby Union Larry Bray Memorial
Soul City Sirens Roller Derby Red Wing Rollerway

Tournaments

The city’s famous golf course, the Augusta National Golf Club, hosts the first major golf tournament of each year, The Masters. This tournament is one of the most prestigious in the sport[24] and is one of the four major championships. The best professional and amateur golfers in the world come to Augusta during the first full week of April every year. The grounds of Augusta National are known for being pristine, and the course was ranked in 2009 as the 3rd best golf course in the world by Golf Magazine.[25] Augusta is also home to Augusta Golf Instruction created by Master swing & mental coach B. J. Hathaway.

The city also has disc golf facilities. The Augusta Top Gun Series is a series of tournaments sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association. These tournaments are held at various venues in Augusta, including Pendleton King Park and Lake Olmstead.[26] Also, Augusta hosted the 2006 Professional Disc Golf World Championships. Along with Pendleton King and Lake Olmstead, two courses in N. Augusta, SC were used for the tournament. 299 disc golfers from around the world attended the event, with Ken Climo winning the tournament and his 12th world championship.

Augusta is the host of the World's Richest Drag Boat Race, held on the Savannah River (Augusta Southern Nationals). The race is part of the IHBA Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series and is sanctioned by the International Hot Boat Association (held on July 18–20). The event benefits the Augusta Chapter of the Georgia Special Olympics. Over 100 racing teams from 25 states will compete for $140,000 in purse and prizes as they try to beat the record of 252.94 MPH in the ‘World’s Richest Drag Boat Race”.

Parks and recreation

  • Riverwalk Augusta — riverfront park along and on top of city's levee
  • Augusta Common — green space linking Broad St. to Reynolds St., with statue of James Oglethorpe
  • Augusta Canal — historic canal with bike/pedestrian path
  • Aqueduct Park[27] — lagoon converted into park and swimming site by volunteers
  • Phinizy Swamp Nature Parkwetlands park with pedestrian/bike paths and boardwalks
  • Diamond Lakes Regional Park — park in south Richmond County
  • Brookfield Park — public park featuring a playground, putting green, pedestrian/bike path, and a fountain in which children can play

Government

In 1995, citizens of Augusta and unincorporated Richmond County voted to consolidate their city and county governments. Citizens of Hephzibah and Blythe, also located in Richmond County, voted against joining in the consolidation of Augusta and Richmond County. Augusta and Richmond County's consolidation took effect January 1, 1996. The consolidated government consists of a mayor and 10 commissioners. Eight commissioners represent specific districts, while the other two represent super districts that represent half of the county's population respectively.[28]

Education


Colleges and universities

K–12 schools

Public K–12 schools in Augusta are managed by the Richmond County School System. The system has eight high schools, 10 middle schools, 36 elementary schools, and four magnet schools, — including C. T. Walker Traditional Magnet School, A. R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School, and Davidson Fine Arts.

Private schools in Augusta include Aquinas High School, Episcopal Day School, St. Mary on the Hill School, Immaculate Conception School, Hillcrest Baptist Church School, Curtis Baptist High School, Gracewood Baptist First Academy, Alleluia Community School, New Life Christian Academy, and Westminster Schools of Augusta. Augusta Christian School, Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist School, and Augusta Preparatory Day School serve Augusta, but are located in neighboring Martinez, Georgia.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Augusta is linked to Atlanta to the west and Columbia, South Carolina, to the east by Interstate 20. Interstate 520 (Bobby Jones Expressway) runs from I-20 Exit 196 through Augusta's western and southern suburban areas, eventually crossing the Savannah River to South Carolina where it becomes the Palmetto Parkway.

U.S. and state routes:

  • Interstate 20 (I-20)
  • Bobby Jones/ J.D.Paugh Memorial Highway Expressway
  • U.S. Route 1 — Deans Bridge Road (from Jefferson County line to Gordon Highway), Gordon Highway (from Deans Bridge Road to state line)
  • U.S. Route 25 — Peach Orchard Road (entire length), Gordon Highway (from Peach Orchard Road to state line)
  • State Route 10 — Gordon Highway
  • State Route 4 — follows U.S. Highway 1 from Jefferson County line to Gordon Highway, leaves Georgia at 13th Street bridge
  • John C. Calhoun Expressway and Washington Road
  • State Route 56 — Mike Padgett Highway
  • State Route 88 in south Richmond County
  • State Route 104 — River Watch Parkway
  • State Route 232 — Bobby Jones Expressway west of I-20
  • Jimmie Dyess Parkway
  • Savannah River Parkway) — Peach Orchard Road from I-520 to Burke County line

Parts of Augusta are served by city transit service Augusta Public Transit (APT), but the main mode of transportation within the city is by car. The city has two airports: Augusta Regional Airport and Daniel Field Airport. Augusta is also served by a number of taxi companies.

Notable people

Sister cities

See also

Footnotes

External links

  • AugustaGA.gov — official website
  • Augusta Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Augusta Economic Development Authority Homepage
  • Augusta Tomorrow
  • Downtown Augusta Alliance
  • Downtown Development Authority
  • SouthStar Emergency Medical Services

Coordinates: 33°28′12″N 81°58′30″W / 33.47000°N 81.97500°W / 33.47000; -81.97500

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