A generous gift from a local business owner and his wife will pave the way for a new sports training center for student-athletes at Augusta University.
The Alvin and Yvette Harris Sports Performance Center – named for the big-hearted couple who are longtime university supporters – will be constructed in the upper mezzanine on the south side of Christenberry Fieldhouse on the Forest Hills Campus.
The Harris Sports Performance Center will be equipped with essential fitness machines, free weights and other tools to help student-athletes boost strength and enhance performance, while also providing appropriate training and conditioning to help prevent injuries.
“Augusta Athletics just took a huge step forward today, thanks to Al and Yvette Harris. We are beyond excited and thankful for their generous gift and for their continued support of our programs,” said Ryan Erlacher, director of athletics for Augusta University. “With the overall health, wellness and development of our student-athletes being a top priority, the new sports performance center will completely revolutionize the way we train and positively impact every current and future Jaguar student-athlete that joins our team. This project demonstrates the investment we are making to ensure our student-athletes have a first-class experience and provide them with facilities that rival some of the best in the country.
The Harris Sports Performance Center will serve as a hub for all student-athletes – basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, golf, track & field, cross country, tennis and cheer. It will replace the current weight room and other training areas the university has outgrown.
Erlacher said that the center will improve the athletic experience for student-athletes today and for decades to come.
“A successful athletics program brings energy and excitement not only to college life, but to the community,” said Brandon T. McCray, vice president for Development in Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement. “Augusta University is extremely appreciative for the ongoing generosity of Al and Yvette Harris to AU Athletics through this new project, as well as previous gifts to the Dugout Club, men’s and women’s basketball and the Jaguar Club. This a great example of how philanthropic gifts can impact the lives of our students.”
Alvin Harris owns Horizon Motor Coach, a professional charter bus transportation company in Harlem, and his wife Yvette is the manager. Al Harris is also co-chair of the Augusta University Foundation, and the couple are members of the Augusta University President’s Club.
In addition to athletics, the Harrises support the arts at Augusta University through the Harris-Horizon Jazz Program and student learning through the Alvin and Yvette Harris Scholarship. They have also contributed to the James M. Hull College of Business and the Student Emergency and COVID-19 Emergency Response funds.