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Kemp visits Augusta to see progress on Hub for nonprofits

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 7:18 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - First it was the Hub.

Now there are even more plans to bring new development to the Laney Walker and Harrisburg neighborhoods.

We were at Fat Man’s Café on Thursday as Gov. Brian Kemp sat in on a meeting to talk more about the project. It’s all thanks to a $10 million investment in the area.

The goal of the Hub is to bring the resources to Augusta’s long underserved communities but also grow the area. The two buildings you see there now are just the beginning.

“I thought it was great, so much collaboration,” Kemp said.

Pretty soon the construction site will be the home of Harrisburg’s Hub for Community Innovation. Joined by city and state leaders also partners in the project Governor Kemp got a peek at what the Hub is all about.

“It really makes you feel good to see so many people working together to address real problems that we have in all communities across the state of Georgia and across the country,” Kemp said.

Despite some supply chain issues with getting steel early on the Hub is on track to open this spring. It’ll be home to the new Boy’s and Girls Club Headquarters and four other local nonprofits already working in Harrisburg. Nonprofits like Rise Augusta.

“Harrisburg has a lot of poverty, and so the children have a lot of things going on at home that they bring to school,” said Laurie Cook, executive director at Rise Augusta.

Rise works with children to provide them with tutoring and mentors. But because of the great need, they often end up providing much more.

“Sometimes we provide clothes, shoes, access to medical care, access to mental health things like that to help stabilize a child so that they can function in school,” said Cook.

Right now, they work out of schools. So they’re limited in how many children they can help. But that’ll change when they move in the Hub.

“At the Hub, we can open it up to the public and serve more,” she said.

It won’t stop with the two buildings you see now. The second phase has plans to expand AU’s medical campus creating a research building, retail, and housing to attract students. They’re also trying to bring a grocery store.

As the Hub comes together the governor says he wants to see it all.

“I think I’ll come back,” said Kemp.

For more information on the Hub visit https://communityhubaugusta.org/.

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