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Corporate partners help to celebrate the grand opening of the downtown nonprofit hub

.A local one-stop-shop that will offer a variety of resources for residents in the Harrisburg and Laney Walker communities is now officially open for business. But the project never would’ve happened without financial support from local, regional, and national business partners.

The HUB for Community Innovation located at 631 Chafee Ave., near the intersection of Walton Way and 15th Street, celebrated its grand opening over the weekend.

On Friday, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was attended by business owners, corporate partners, and community members. Attendees also toured the HUB’s two buildings. On Saturday, the HUB hosted a community celebration.

HUB West (shown above) is a 33,000-square-foot building that now houses four local non-profit organizations: Augusta Locally Grown, the Augusta University Literacy Center, Harrisburg Family Health Care, and RISE Augusta. HUB East, a 16,000-square-foot facility, is now home to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta.

These nonprofits will provide a variety of community services, such as medical care, food, tutoring, and after-school programs.

Augusta Locally Grown is one of the non-profits that calls the new HUB Center home. (Photos by Josh Heath)

The more than $33 million project was funded through a combination of grants, private donations, and corporate contributions. The project’s corporate partners have included the Augusta National Golf Club, which contributed $10 million, AT&T, Bank of America, Georgia Power Foundation, and IBM.

“We live and work in this community, and we want to see it thrive,” said Ora Parish, Bank of America President for Augusta-Aiken.

Like Parish, Georgia Power President and CEO, Chris Womack was excited to see the finished product that was developed through a partnership between the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area.

“It’s so thrilling to see this collaborative take place,” Womack said. “Thanks to all the partners.”

The Community Foundation, which was founded in 1995, helps to connect local nonprofits with philanthropic partners.

Community Foundation President, Shell Berry at HUB West.

“This ribbon cutting marks the most exciting and meaningful part of this project,” said foundation President and CEO, Shell Berry. “Today, we can officially welcome residents of Harrisburg, Laney Walker, and our entire downtown core into these extraordinary buildings and see the work of these mission-aligned nonprofits flourish.”

Berry became emotional when she spoke at Friday’s ceremony. She said the HUB will help to serve the needs of low-income families in downtown Augusta, which is a food desert.

“To see it come to fruition is amazing,” Berry said.

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