ADPH plans Downtown Montgomery campus

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's a growing trend.

Development in Downtown Montgomery is on the rise, with a few projects popping up across the area.

The next proposal is $6.5 million campus for the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Instead of moving to the outskirts of town, ADPH wants to set up shop just east of Riverwalk Stadium, a spot currently occupied by an old train shed and abandoned buildings.

"It's a really blighted area now.  "It'd be just a wonderful thing to happen, and it would make everyone in that area very happy," said City Council President Charles Jinright.

The campus itself would house an emergency operations center and become the state's central training facility for health workers.

"Downtown would give us great service area for the people we would need to have come in and train the nurses and doctors and technical folks," said Ed Davidson, Public Health Administrative Officer.

Don't forget the jobs the project could generate.

"25 to 30 people stationed there permanently," Davidson explained.

That's a concept city leaders say they're ready to welcome downtown.

"It's something that needs to be done, so it's nice to hear that the health department wants to do it--and they have a plan and it's a great plan," Jinright said.

Right now, ADPH is in the process of securing the land.

Officials hope to have everything squared away by January and start construction sometime between June and August of next year.

If all goes well, the campus would open in 2010.