Hub for Community Innovation Augusta (THE HUB)
Submitted by: Choate Construction Co.
Owner/Developer Medical College of Georgia Foundation Inc.
Owner/Client Hub Augusta Collaborative
Lead Design Firm Christopher Booker & Associates Inc.
General Contractor Choate Construction Co.
Structural/Civil Engineer Cranston Engineering Group
MEP Engineer Electrical Design Consultants Inc.
Subcontractors Adams Group; All-in-One Construction Inc.; Overhead Door Co. of Augusta; Century Fire Protection LLC; Cook and Boardman LLC; Davis Landscaping LTD; Dixie Erectors; McElmurray Construction Co.; Georgia Drywall LLC; Glass Service Center of Augusta Inc.
Choate Construction Co. put its money where its mouth is in constructing the HUB for Community Innovation Augusta, a community resource and home for local nonprofits set to revitalize a historic African American neighborhood that’s seen decades of disinvestment.
In two buildings, HUB East and HUB West, Choate created a new home for five critical nonprofits in the Augusta community, including a headquarters for the local Boys & Girls Club, a family health clinic, an urban gardening advocacy group, the Augusta University Literacy Center and RISE Augusta, a resource for public school children from disadvantaged households.
The 18,000-sq-ft, two-story HUB East includes multiple classrooms, community rooms and administrative spaces, while the 33,000-sq-ft HUB West includes space for medical care, tutoring and mentoring services and retail space.
Photo courtesy Capitol Photography
The project was financed through donations, but the use of restrictive tax credits meant a lengthy lending process, and over a three- to four-month period Choate financed the project itself to keep it moving and on schedule.
Supplemental manpower was brought in from Atlanta, and Choate leveraged its virtual design and construction tools to find and resolve conflicts ahead of construction.
Ian Mercier, president and CEO of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation and a founding member for the HUB Augusta Collective, said in a letter that the team had to navigate being pulled in many different directions by more than 50 various stakeholders and was able to manage the added complexity arising from New Market Tax Credits, which required an extra layer of legal and financial oversight and resulted in more than $6 million in project funding.
“They also achieved success within a timeline that was already very aggressive despite the myriad of workforce, supply chain and cost challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic,” Mercier said, thanking the Choate crew for turning the HUB Augusta Collaborative’s “dream into a living center that will serve its surrounding and critically underserved communities for decades.”