Building for You

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center is proud to embark on a transformational building enhancement project designed to make everyone’s Center experience the best it can be. More than 6,000 people pass through the Center’s doors weekly to engage in thousands of life-changing and life-saving activities. This project responds to years of feedback from Center users and visitors, and it builds on the vision of our founders who believed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people deserve a home that is welcoming, functional and vibrant. In essence, we are Building for You.

The renovation will allow the Center to better serve and address the community’s needs by creating new spaces for socializing, and upgrading major event spaces to be suitable for high-quality programs and events. All of the Center’s programs will benefit from enhanced facilities, and the people who pass through the Center’s doors every day will experience a place that celebrates who we are as individuals and our community’s contributions as a whole.

“After years of working on my film, I began to consider it ‘my baby.’ My dream was to present it at the Center, where the community could rally around my work and celebrate its completion in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel that the current facility could do ‘my baby’ justice. I’m thrilled to know that after these incredible improvements are made, the Center will be the ideal space to showcase art, film, theater and so much more!” – Angela B.

What Will Change?

Beginning with ground-breaking in 2013, the 14-month long construction plan that will continue through 2014 will include the following improvements:

• The lobby will be expanded and refurbished to create a more welcoming and user-friendly space, featuring a café, a revamped David Bohnett Cyber Center and new front doors.

• The Center’s largest meeting spaces – the third-floor Lerner Auditorium and the ground-floor Kaplan Assembly Hall – will be renovated and outfitted with modernized audio/visual equipment, lighting and other capabilities, making them ideal for hosting special events.

• Our hidden garden will be repaved and feature seating and lighting to encourage conversation and connection, while a new street-facing gate will invite visitors.

• Public corridors and meeting rooms will be updated with new floors and lighting, and additional public meeting rooms will be added to the inventory of available space.

• The elevator cab and controls will be upgraded.

• The library will be relocated and updated, and house the Center archive.

• The Center’s website, www.gaycenter.org, will undergo a major overhaul to produce a flexible, organized and attractive site that reflects the scope of what is available to the community and indicates a clear identity, brand and mission.

“It would be nice to drop by the Center more often, but I never really know what to do when I get there. Having a comfortable café, where I can set up a meeting for coffee and socialize with others in the LGBT community, certainly solves that problem! I think I’ll be spending a lot more time at the Center once this project is finished.” – Ramon F.

How Will the Project Affect Me?

A project of this magnitude impacts operations in big and small ways. Auditorium spaces will be unavailable for periods of time, other meeting rooms and offices will be inaccessible intermittently and the garden area will be closed. The main entrance will shift in response to lobby construction. Overall the disruptions will be temporary and the end result will be outstanding. Center staff will keep the community apprised of planning and progress by posting regular updates on our website.

“By the age of 14, I was dealing with a lot of serious stuff. I was afraid to tell my parents that I’m gay, and I started drinking to avoid the confusion and pain. Turning to the Center for help was the best decision I ever made. I found a community here that empowered me to turn my life around and celebrate who I am. Now I spend my afternoons at the Center hanging out with other people who, like me, just want to be themselves and lead a healthy and happy life.” – Lawrence S.

Chair

Mario Palumbo

Co-Chairs

Tim Chow
Julie Harris
Keith Jacobson