Business Community Education

Junior Achievement Discovery Center moving forward

Junior Achievement of Georgia announced Thursday that Augusta’s McKnight Construction Company, has been selected as the construction manager for JA’s Discovery Center of the CSRA.

JA of Georgia, in partnership with the Columbia County School District and the Richmond County School System, plans to open the new center in Evans in fall 2023, according to a news release.

“McKnight Construction is honored to bring a Discovery Center to our Augusta Community,” said Blakely Downs, Director of Marketing for McKnight Construction Company. “Junior Achievement of Georgia is a tremendous organization, and we look forward to a successful collaboration with JA and our longtime partners the Richmond County and Columbia County School Districts.”

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Columbia County School District has invited JA to build the Discovery Center in its support complex located at 4395 River Watch Pkwy. The facility is more than 300,000 square feet, and the JA Discovery Center will occupy approximately 30,000 square feet inside the facility.

“We are excited to partner with McKnight Construction on this project,” said John Hancock, president and CEO of JA of Georgia. “They have been an integral part of the CSRA community for decades, and their experience and expertise will bring to life an impactful way for students to learn about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career readiness. This center will enable us to expand our reach into the region and will give up to 15,000 students, per year, invaluable experiences for years to come.” 

The center will provide students continued exposure to their future possibilities through two innovative programs – JA BizTown and JA Finance Park.

JA BizTown creates an unmatched experience where sixth grade students can interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of fueling a business. Students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community, but also realize the abundance of opportunities available within their city, the release said.

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JA Finance Park provides seventh grade students the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Guided by an assigned ‘life situation,’ students participate in an immersive simulation that enables them to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how decisions today can impact tomorrow.

Currently, JA Discovery Centers serve approximately 80,000 students per year across five Georgia ocations – the JA Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center in Atlanta, the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett, the Mike and Lynn Cottrell JA Discovery Center in Cumming, the JA Discovery Center of Greater Dalton and the JA Colonial Group Discovery Center in Savannah. 

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