Creating paths to good outcomes is the goal of the HUB Augusta Collaborative, a joint effort between the Community Foundation for the CSRA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta, and the Medical College of Georgia Foundation.
Former U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice spoke about the HUB and the potential impact of the collaborative project on the surrounding communities at a preview event at the site on Tuesday.
“You can’t guarantee outcomes, but you can guarantee paths to outcomes,” she said.
The event included tours of the two new buildings and remarks from Rice, Augusta University President, Brooks Keel, and Community Foundation President, Shell Berry.
Construction is now complete on a $33.5 million project called the HUB for Community Innovation, which is located at the corner of Chafee Avenue and Fenwick Street near the site of the former 15th Street Kroger.
Berry, who also serves as President of the HUB Augusta Collaborative, said they expect to have all the organizations moved in and be fully operational by the end of June.
“We want to encourage innovative, collaborative approaches for revitalizing Harrisburg and Laney Walker,” she said. “By bringing existing resources and nonprofits together in one location, we can start to bolster equitable access to all the essential elements of a thriving community.”
Steven Kendrick, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said the HUB will be a tremendous asset to the Harrisburg and Laney Walker communities.
“We have an opportunity to be a catalyst for change for these communities,” Kendrick said. “We hope it will spark economic growth in the local housing market.”
Berry also serves as President of the HUB Augusta Collaborative. The Community Foundation helps to connect local nonprofits with philanthropic partners that can provide the financial support these organizations need.
The Collaborative received a $10 million donation from the Augusta National Golf Club and its corporate partners, AT&T, Bank of America, and IBM.
“The Augusta National has partnered with the foundation for 25 years,” she said. “I like to refer to their donation as putting the gas in the engine.”
Besides the golf club’s donation, financial support has come from various sources, including the Georgia Power Foundation, as well as individual and corporate donations.
HUB West, a 33,000-square-foot building will bring together four nonprofits: Augusta Locally Grown, Augusta University Literacy Center, RISE Augusta, and Harrisburg Family Health Care. The 16,000-square-foot HUB East will be home to the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Augusta Locally Grown helps to provide food that is grown and produced by local farmers to CSRA residents, while the Augusta University Literacy Center helps children and adults learn to read.
Like the Literacy Center, RISE Augusta helps Richmond County students improve their reading skills. Harrisburg Family Health Care partners with the AU Department of Family Medicine to provide medical services for residents in and around the Harrisburg community.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta provides after-school programs, summer camps, and other services for local children and teens.
For more information, visit CommunityHubAugusta.org.