$1,000,000 in Funds Awarded from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to Support Improvements and Upgrades to the Center’s Historic Center City Building
Philadelphia, PA, August 5, 2019 — The William Way LGBT Community Center has received $1,000,000 towards improvements and upgrades to its historic building at 1315 Spruce Street from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
“We are grateful to Governor Wolf, State Senators Farnese and Street, Mayor Kenney, US Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Dwight Evans, State Representatives Sims, Harris, Kenyatta, and Isaacson, and Councilman Squilla for going to bat for the Center. They recognize that William Way is a Center for LGBT community and culture throughout the City and the surrounding region. We’re thrilled to receive these resources to create a renovated Center that will reflect Philadelphia’s role as the leading City for LGBT community and culture in the United States,” said Chris Bartlett, Executive Director of the Center.
“My office believes so much in the William Way as a crucial and lifesaving resource for LGBT Philadelphians and their families and allies. The Center’s renovations will make a huge difference in the lives of so many Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians who each year turn to it for the resources that can improve their lives,” said State Senator Larry Farnese, whose district includes the Center. “We appreciate that the Governor and Secretary Dennis Davin of the State’s Department of Community and Economic Development immediately saw the importance of the project for the City and the State,” he said.
“As State Representative for William Way’s district, I personally know the difference the Center makes in people’s lives. I’ve hosted job fairs and other community meetings at the Center because I know that everyone feels welcome and included there. These much-needed renovations will make the Center even more welcoming,” said State Representative Brian Sims.
The Center’s plans for renovations will start with efforts to renovate its lobby, ballroom, Archives, and office spaces—focusing on the public spaces on each of its four floors. The renovations, originally imagined in a conceptual design by the Community Design Collaborative, will modernize these spaces and bring the latest technology to the rooms, which are used by thousands each year.
“We’re so pleased that William Way will now be able to modernize and update our Center, while preserving and respecting the historic character of our stately building,” said William Way Board Co-Chair Paul Steinke.
“We’re also grateful to community members who stepped up to advocate for the Center, including Marty Sellers, Mel Heifetz, Amber Hikes, Duane Bumb and Governor Rendell,” said William Way Board Co-chair Sue Gildea. “The Center is for the community, and we appreciate that so many from the community have advocated for its growth and renovation.”
Phase I of the renovations of the building will begin within 18 months, and will proceed while the Center remains open to the public.
The William Way LGBT Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.
If you would like more information about the Center’s improvements and renovations, pleasecontact Executive Director Chris Bartlett at 267-257-9661.