If you're looking to get back into the classroom and don't mind volunteering your time, officials with Augusta's under-construction Salvation Army Kroc Center would like to hear from you.
"There's a wealth of talent in this community, and there is no reason for us to duplicate things that are already being done well," Kroc Center Coordinator Derek Dugan said. "So it's our intent to reach out in the community to those who have those skills rather than re-create it in the Kroc Center ... and retired teachers are a perfect example of what we're looking for."
Although they wouldn't be paying jobs, Dugan said, the volunteer instructors would be crucial in determining how many curriculum offerings the center will have, to include subjects ranging from art to GED classes for all ages. Some of the classes will be free, and some will require a nominal fee.
Dugan said there will be 20 venues for classes at the center, which could operate more than 80 hours a week. More than 1,500 volunteer hours could be used each week, he said. He said some might volunteer as much as 40 hours per week, and others might decide to teach just one class weekly. "It really depends on what a volunteer is willing to do," he said.
The call for volunteers is starting as the $100 million center off Broad Street along the Augusta Canal is 14 months from completion.
The groundbreaking for the center, to be finished by June 2011, took place in early February. Dugan said the construction project is on schedule, and scaffolding has gone up.
"It is stunning," he said. "It's amazing to see how fast this thing is coming up."
Just a couple of weeks ago, he said, officials moved out of a Kroc Center headquarters location at the corner of Broad and Crawford streets to some homes on Eve Street that have been renovated as office space.
The 100,000-square-foot center will occupy 17 acres and will include a 400-seat performing arts theater and worship hall, a 280-seat community hall, an indoor aquatics center, a senior citizens lounge and classrooms for arts, music, education and recreational programming.
Already, at least one instructor, Rollins Elementary first-grade teacher Tina Harn, who will retire after this school year, has expressed interest in helping at the center.
"Every time I read about it, I think I would love to work there," she said recently.