William Way receives $2.5 million from Gov. Wolf to assist with renovations

The William Way LGBT Community Center.

Gov. Wolf recently awarded $32.85 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding ​​to support 13 community economic development and revitalization projects in Pennsylvania, including $2.5 million for William Way LGBT Community Center to assist with renovations.

“William Way LGBT Community Center is thrilled to be one of 13 projects statewide to receive support through the state’s current round of the RACP capital project funding,” William Way Executive Director Chris Bartlett said in an email. “This is an exciting catapult to renovate our historic building and create an expanded Center for our communities for decades to come.”  

The funds will go toward improving access for people with disabilities to enter the front part of the building, and to reconstruct the rear wings of the building. Amenities that the funds will help produce include a flexible event space, a catering kitchen and cafe for job establishment and training, meeting facilities that can be rented, flexible individual and coworking spaces, a new art gallery, broadened archives and reading room, as well as a computer lounge that can accommodate hybrid programming. 

“We send many thanks to Gov. Wolf, Mayor Kenney, Sen. Saval and Rep. Sims, among many others who went to bat to support both our Center and our communities,” Bartlett added. “Philadelphia is the most friendly city for LGBTQIA+ citizens in the nation — and we’re building a Center to reflect that!”

Other projects that received funding from the state include housing upgrades and expansion of Veterans Place, the organization that assists veterans’ transition from homelesssness to home, in Allegheny County; the first floor renovation of the former Bishop McDevitt High School for The J.E.D.I.I. Center in Dauphin County, which will serve as a space for educational programs and events; improvements to the accessibility of the parking garage of St. Luke’s Hospital in Lehigh County; expansion of the shelter at the Domestic Violence Service Center in Luzerne County; and the redevelopment of Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia, in which eight properties will be converted into spaces for outdoor programming, plazas for artists and entrepreneurs and an entry point to the yet-to-be developed Richmond Industrial Trail.

“Every one of these projects funded will make a real, meaningful difference in our communities and the lives of those who live there,” Gov. Wolf said in a press release. “It’s an honor to support Pennsylvania’s future success through these investments.”