July 15, 2013
Hooker contributes $50,000 to New College building fund Hooker Furniture Corp. will give $50,000 toward the $2 million Building on Baldwin capital campaign to expand the New College Institute.


Construction of the first stand-alone building for NCI began in May and is expected to be completed by spring 2014.


Paul Toms, chairman and chief executive officer of Hooker Furniture, said the company is committed to serving the community by being a good corporate citizen.


"Education is one of the key components of Hooker's charitable giving, and the New College Institute's unique model to connect education with economic development is visionary," Toms said. "We view this new NCI initiative as being transformative for the citizens of Martinsville and Henry County and our region, and this is a natural tie-in to the philanthropic efforts of Hooker Furniture."


A prominent space in the new building on Baldwin Block will be named to honor the thousands of local Hooker Furniture employees who built and sustained the company since 1924, according to a news release.


The gift will be made to the New College Foundation, which raises funds for NCI.


"On behalf of the New College Foundation, I extend my sincere gratitude for this most generous contribution," said NCF Board Chairman Kimble Reynolds. "Hooker Furniture is well known in this community for their philanthropy, and this gift is an example of their commitment to making a difference in the lives the citizens of this region."


Among the features of the new 50,000-square-foot, three-story building are classrooms and collaborative learning spaces, state-of-the-art manufacturing high bays with 40-foot ceilings, and a 10,000 square-foot Grand Hall. The new building also will have office space for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.


This project is expected to cost approximately $18 million. To date, financial commitments include $8 million from The Harvest Foundation, $5 million from The Tobacco Indemnification Revitalization Community Commission and approximately $3 million from other state and federal grants.


The New College Foundation launched the Building on Baldwin capital campaign in November to meet a challenge from The Harvest Foundation to raise $2 million from individuals and corporations to complete the building project.