When billionaire philanthropist Joan Kroc – widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's restaurants – was touring San Diego with the city's mayor in the early 1990s, she witnessed a situation that moved her to create a life-changing facility for people who were in need of assistance. That decision paved the way for The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers, now found in locations across America.
One fortunate community to receive funding for a Kroc Center is Augusta, Georgia. Celebrating its opening in August, 2011, this multi-purpose facility features a variety of activities for all ages. Mondo Sport Impact flooring in the fitness areas gives a colorful addition this state-of-the-art complex.
When Mrs. Kroc passed away in October 2003, she left $1.8 billion to the Salvation Army to build more community centers – the largest gift in the organization's history, and the largest donation ever given to a single charity at one time.
In addition to the original construction funding of $33.9 million, The Salvation Army in Augusta received a permanent operations endowment of over $55 million. Through the co-operative efforts of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture in association with Cheatham Fletcher Scott Architects, innovative designs were created to make this center a welcome addition to the community.
“The 82,000 square-foot, single-story Kroc Center in Augusta has two sides – a community wing and a recreation wing," says Keith Hayes, partner and project manager with Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, the Design Architect. “The 400-seat corps chapel provides weekly services and community gathering. This side of the building also includes a banquet hall with a commercial kitchen, academic and music classrooms, party rooms, child sitting and administration offices.
Hayes says the recreation side of the complex includes a two-court gymnasium, a weight room and fitness center, an aerobic and dance studio, plus locker rooms and family changing rooms. The leisure pool features a waterslide, current channel and indoor spas.
The designers chose Mondo Sport Impact to be installed in many of the rooms, particularly those that included exercise equipment. "Mondo is a preferred provider for the southern territory of The Salvation Army," says Hayes. "As a specialized architecture firm, we design a lot of recreational facilities and we know Mondo has a great product. In this case, The Salvation Army had long been aware of the durability of Mondo flooring and requested we write our specifications around Mondo options."
With a wide variety of users coming through the facility, it was important to choose products that could withstand the test of time. "We chose the Sport Impact because it has good durability and resilience. With the combination of exercise machines and free weights, we were confident the Sport Impact flooring could handle a lot of foot traffic."
He adds the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of the flooring make it a healthier product for people who are working out. "The other benefit of Mondo flooring is the low maintenance factor, which is also helps with the budget."
Hayes says his firm often aims to make a statement in their projects. "We like to use color in our designs. In the case of The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Augusta, we included a band of red, green, and blue that run throughout the complex to provide patterning on the floor."
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Augusta is a collective campus of buildings on a 17 acre site. Located along the Augusta Canal in the historic mill community of Harrisburg, the structures are designed to complement the nearby Sibley Mill and King Mill, two historical fabric and textile production facilities.
“We have designed many of the Kroc Centers nationwide and each one reflects the context of the area in which they are built – whether it is in the north, south, east or western region of the United States,” says Hayes. “The Augusta Center is in a beautiful, southern historic area of Georgia. It is built on an American Revolutionary War site, across from a Confederate Armory that was built from scratch. A smoke stack remains from the Armory, with a couple of brick mills behind, so we adjusted the style of the architecture to reflect the history of the place.”
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Augusta’s vision is to provide excellent programs, facilities and services that will promote positive life changing experiences for all people of the Greater Augusta Area.