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$14 Million in Obama Stimulus Money Funded Mike Hubbard Center

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted a ceremony in Auburn to dedicate the Mike Hubbard Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce at Auburn University.

The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn, wrote on Facebook that he was,

“Deeply humbled to have Auburn University’s Center for Advanced Science, Innovation, and Commerce named after me today. This new facility will enhance research and help attract new jobs to our community. Great day to be in Auburn.”

The Georgia native gained the attention of Auburn Athletics officials for his work promoting University of Georgia running back Hershel Walker’s successful Heisman Trophy campaign. Auburn hired the young UGA graduate to help Auburn running back Bo Jackson in his own ultimately successful Heisman trophy effort.

Jackson attended the ribbon cutting. Speaker Hubbard said on Facebook, “It was a surprise and an honor to have my dear friend Bo Jackson and his wife Linda travel to Auburn yesterday to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the Mike Hubbard Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce at Auburn. Susan and I are eternally grateful for their friendship. Yesterday, was a great day, and hopefully today will be even better – War Eagle!”

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The 84,000 square foot research facility was built by Brasfield and Gorrie as the lead contractor and cost $28.8 million to build.

According to the NIST statement, the Mike Hubbard Center is a $28.8 million research facility that was designed to support multidisciplinary research in bio energy, water quality, food safety and engineering, genomics, information science and ecosystem health. The new lab includes 20 high-tech laboratories with specialized equipment, a super computer, seminar rooms and outside features such as two 5-ton cranes for bio fuels work.

The lab was partially financed by a cost-share award of $14.4 million from the NIST’s Construction Grants Program which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009….the economic stimulus package passed by the Obama administration during the President’s first term.

The NIST grants program has helped to fund either new construction or expansions at 24 research facilities across the country. The grants were designed to foster cutting-edge research in science and technology to advance economic growth and international competitiveness.

The State of Alabama also contributed to this project. The NIST is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Mike Hubbard became a statewide personality as host of the Auburn Football Coach’s show. Later he went on to manage and then own the rights to the Auburn Sports broadcasts. The successful broadcaster got involved in politics helping his good friend, then Congressman (and later Governor) Bob Riley (R). Hubbard then was elected to the Alabama House representing Lee County. Representative Hubbard rose quickly to House Minority Leader while also serving as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. As ALGOP Chairman he engineered the historic 2010 election which gave Republicans control of both Houses of the state legislature and every statewide elected office on the 2010 ballot.

Following the election, Mike Hubbard was elected as the first Republican Speaker of the Alabama House in over 135 years.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,941 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.


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