Salvation Army opens Augusta Kroc Center doors

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After seven years and a $22 million local fundraising effort, the only thing that still stood between the new Kroc Center and the people of Augusta was a long indigo-colored ribbon. On Sunday, that ribbon was cut.

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The Kroc Center just prior to the start of the dedication celebration.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
The Kroc Center just prior to the start of the dedication celebration.

The Salvation Army dedicated its new Augusta Kroc Community Center, a 100,000-square-foot fitness, education, performing arts and worship complex on Broad Street in Harrisburg.

Kroc centers are made possible nationwide though a $1.7 billion donation by the late Joan Kroc. They are built in low-income, urban neighborhoods surrounded by higher-income neighborhoods, and their purpose is to provide facilities, programs and services that encourage positive, life-changing experiences.

At Sunday's ceremony in Augusta, the Salvation Army's Col. Terry Griffin read a biblical passage from Acts 3, about a lame beggar who was healed at the gates of the temple.

"It's a story of healing and transformation," Griffin said. "The beggar only thought of what his condition was, not what it could be.

"We today are also challenged, not only by what is, but what can be. Not just for us, but for the community around us."

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said the completed complex, like the cool July morning on which it was dedicated, was a blessing.

"It's amazing, how in the midst of the biggest recession of my lifetime, we could come together to raise the money to build this center," he said.

After the ceremony, the Kroc Center's doors were opened, and about 200 people entered for its first church service.

Maj. James Hall, a past administrator of the Salvation Army in Augusta, initially put the idea for a local Kroc Center before the board in June 2004. He returned Sunday to witness the fruition of that idea.

"I'm thrilled, and I'm humbled," he said. "Those who came after us did a fantastic job. They took the dream and made it concrete."

Were you Spotted?

See more than 80 photos from the Kroc Center dedication ceremony at spotted.augusta.com.

Comments (12) Add comment
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Riverman1
83797
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Riverman1 07/17/11 - 09:12 pm
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Did the Salvation Army do

Did the Salvation Army do their traditional march from the old place to the new one? Wasn't that the agenda?

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 07/17/11 - 11:09 pm
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Maybe they didn't want to get

Maybe they didn't want to get mugged...

Enjoy it while you can, this place may be completely trashed by rampant crime and those who feel entitled to destroy everything they get near in a short time.

Here's how it works. They hire local employees & security whom thugs have something on so they can't stop the thugs due to the fact the thugs will out them so the thugs take over. This is what happened in Augusta public Housing.

bigpauliraq
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bigpauliraq 07/18/11 - 04:44 am
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I saw a few whites

I saw a few whites

blues550
376
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blues550 07/18/11 - 06:38 am
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Been against this from day
Unpublished

Been against this from day one. 22 million is a lot to take out of a community on what is a duplication of services.

thewiz0oz
9
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thewiz0oz 07/18/11 - 06:40 am
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Another piece of the Downtown

Another piece of the Downtown Revitalizaion is in place. Harrisburg is a key to the rebuilding of the center city. Thanks to the generosity & commitment of the late Boone Knox & many others Augusta has done what Greenville, SC and other mid-size cities have been unable to do. No, Riverman, this is not a replacement of the Salvation Army on Greene Street. The Kroc Center concept has a totally separate mission than does the SA. Congratulations to all, especially to the Greater Augusta community.

seenitB4
87105
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seenitB4 07/18/11 - 06:59 am
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Joan Krocs heart was in the

Joan Krocs heart was in the right place..

The Salvation Army is a great organization..

Yes...I can see some kids taken off the street & given a new way of life...I hope this will work & many young kids will take advantage of the programs...good luck to all..

derekdugan
4
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derekdugan 07/18/11 - 09:45 am
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Riverman - Yes, the march

Riverman -

Yes, the march from the old Church to the Kroc Center did occur prior to the ceremony you see above. It was a great day and am glad it happened before it got too hot, but the fans were out even that early. Please come down and see the Kroc Center - we are giving tours at the top of every hour to anyone interested.

What4
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What4 07/18/11 - 09:47 am
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Joins Enterprise Mill for

Joins Enterprise Mill for ghetto living at it's finest. Now all we need is a ball park!!

Cadence
219
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Cadence 07/18/11 - 01:24 pm
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Blue 550 you are so right.

Blue 550 you are so right. The city has more social service organizations than it needs, and now we have a great ol big one to add to the mix. What is needed is mandatory drug testing, job training, and GED classes. No exemptions and no exceptions.

Riverman1
83797
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Riverman1 07/18/11 - 02:30 pm
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TheWizOz said, "The Kroc

TheWizOz said, "The Kroc Center concept has a totally separate mission than does the SA."

Could have fooled me. I thought if the Salvation Army wasn't involved Joan Kroc wouldn't leave anything to a community?

They have fantastic facilities from what I've read and pictures I've seen. They will have paying customers and free users who don't have the income. They have social services consolidated to help people get back on their feet to find housing, food and employment. Joan Kroc wasn't building gyms for the wealthy. This great facility may actually decrease the number of poor through classes and help. Seriously, Wiz, you and I can use the facility. You may even want to help them out with a little donation.

Pu239
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Pu239 07/18/11 - 08:57 pm
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Shoot....another 18 mil and
Unpublished

Shoot....another 18 mil and they coulda built a mixed use facility....

countyman
20120
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countyman 07/18/11 - 09:16 pm
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Im not sure if you already

Im not sure if you already knew or not, but the $22 million was the money raised by the city of Augusta.. The total cost of the Kroc Center is $100 million..

wendyk4171
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wendyk4171 07/18/11 - 10:03 pm
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Just an FYI, The Salvation

Just an FYI, The Salvation Army is a MULTICULTERAL body of Christ. As a member of this church I find it a little offensive that people want to focus on the color of our congregation. We are blessed to have The Kroc Center in Augusta.

It is not a duplication of services. We will be providing the same services that we have provided since 1891, just in a new building, which will also provide access to other agencies all in one place.

William Booth, our founder, often found new, creative, and sometimes controversial ways to reach the people he loved, I feel like we are following in his footsteps and that he would be very proud that we are providing these services to so many people.

We are focussed on reaching the physical needs of people as well as the spiritual needs. We are proving educational classes, including GED classes, as well as fitness classes, nutrition classes, art classes, and music classes. Just to name a few!

More importantly we are showing that the love of God knows no boundaries, not color, not socio-economic boundaries, not religion, not education, NOTHING separates us from the love of God.

TK3
562
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TK3 07/19/11 - 07:11 pm
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I understand money with

I understand money with strings attached was left to the S.A. but those strings cost at least $20,000,000 required to be raised in local funds in every area these extravagant cathedral like centers are built. Those funds could go to better use for the truly homeless and actual poor which is what I, and many others, thought the S.A. mission was actually all about. Let see how long this message survives.

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