Charlotte Hornets, Lowe's to Unveil Renovations to Grier Heights Community Center Tomorrow

Hornets Legacy Project Powered By Lowe’s Shifts Focus From Basketball Courts To Grier Heights
by Quinton Wash

November 17, 2021 – The Charlotte Hornets, Lowe’s and CrossRoads Corporation tomorrow will unveil renovations to the Grier Heights Community Center (GHCC), located within the historic Billingsville School house, as part of the Hornets Legacy Project Powered by Lowe’s. Billingsville School was built in 1927 as an all-Black “Rosenwald School” founded with the support of Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who generously provided a matching grant to any funds raised by Grier Heights residents. Nearly 100 years later, the GHCC hosts a variety of events, classes, programs, and gatherings for the community. The building appears on the National Register of Historic Places as a landmark in the history of national and local philanthropic efforts to improve education for African Americans.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m. that will include leaders from the Hornets, Lowe’s, CrossRoads Corporation, the Grier Heights community, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

The Hornets and Lowe’s partnered on the project with CrossRoads Corporation, the building’s current operator that leases the property from owner Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The renovations included converting existing bathrooms on the upper level into functional program space for Grier Heights residents, installing a new accessible ramp linking the upper and lower levels of the building, adding fixtures to the lower-level bathrooms to meet building codes, relocating HVAC units and adding energy-efficient LED lighting. Volunteers from the Hornets and Lowe’s completed various beautification tasks prior to unveiling the community center, such as assisting with yard clean-up, landscaping, painting and furniture assembly.

LS3P Associates provided architectural and master planning and DPR Construction provided construction management support. In total, the Hornets, Lowe’s, LS3P Associates and DPR Construction provided more than $300,000 worth of services to complete the project.

The Hornets Legacy Project was established in 2016 to improve the quality of neighborhood parks and to provide a safe space for youth to experience the game of basketball. From 2016-2019, the Hornets and Lowe’s worked in partnership with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to identify and refurbish basketball courts at Latta Park, Tuckaseegee Park, Camp Greene Park and Greenville Park. Beginning this year, the Hornets and Lowe’s, who have a long history of working together on causes benefitting the Charlotte community, have committed to shift the Legacy Project’s focus to supporting projects in the Grier Heights community over the next three years.

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