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Goodwill Industries opening conference center in west Augusta campus

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Goodwill Industries will open another piece of its new west Augusta campus today, dedicating a conference center for the man who once owned the shopping center where it resides.

The Snelling Center is the latest component of the Washington Road expansion project, which included a culinary school and restaurant. The center is named for Dr. George Snelling, the vice chairman of the board of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.

Snelling’s company owned Village West shopping center at Furys Ferry and Washington roads before selling it to Goodwill in 2009. He pledged $1 million to the capital fundraising campaign in 2012, said Jim Stiff, Good­will’s president.

Stiff said he sees a combination of social and business functions in the center. The main room can seat about 250 people, and the center has six breakout rooms.

“Columbia County is an opportunity for us. We are just across the street. We see a lot of business for that community, both social and business,” Stiff said.

The center has a small chapel that is available for intimate weddings.

“We can see weddings taking place and receptions. We can also see businesses coming there for retreats,” Stiff said.

The conference center completes the second phase of the nonprofit’s $12 million construction project, which included a retail store, Job Connection office, cafe and bookstore.


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