They say it takes a village, but no village can grow without the vision of its leaders.
For Augusta Hills Learning, Recreation and Community Center in Albion, that vision came from Bill and Marilyn Emmert.
Bill, a former Noble REMC director, is no stranger to giving back to the community. However, he and his wife had an idea: Is there a way to bring the community together to continue growing and learning through exercise, recreational and educational classes and more, right in their hometown?
They started asking around and garnering support for such a venture, and the spark turned into a flame.
The land that formerly housed the Augusta Hills Golf Course, two miles west of Albion, was donated to the project. Groups started donating their time, businesses began donating their supplies and labor.
What was once a single clubhouse now includes a brand-new gymnasium that boasts a full-size basketball court and elevated walking track.
As a member of Noble REMC, Augusta Hill’s renovations and new construction to the site were bolstered by more than $12,000 in cash back from our Power Moves rebate program for making energy-efficient choices. In upgrading to LED lighting in the former golf course clubhouse, now a gathering place and rental space known as the Lodge, and installing a geothermal heat pump system for the newly built gymnasium, the community center will see savings of nearly 44,000 kilowatt-hours a year.
From its beginning in early 2019, the community rallied around the project to make the dream a reality, and after two years, the center opened its doors this past spring.
Since then, Augusta Hills has already sold hundreds of family and individual memberships, scheduled and popularized pickleball matches and started booking events at the site.
And the Emmerts’ vision created its own village, of sorts – a village of people who support one another in their self-improvement. It’s now a place where area residents come to socialize, learn new hobbies, exercise their brain and bodies and do it all right in their own community.