The former headquarters of the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center on West Lakeview Avenue is getting a major makeover.
That means family services and the food pantry will operate for several months out of temporary location at the CRC Annex, 3230 N. High St.
The settlement house was located entirely in the neighborhood's first library, in the structure built in 1929 at 14 W. Lakeview Ave., from its founding in 1981 until the administrative offices were relocated four years ago to 3222 N. High St.
The renovation project, the first for the West Lakeview Avenue site since office spaces were added in 1981, said Executive Director Bill Owens, is being funded in large part with grants from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, the Columbus Foundation and Medical Mutual.
These grants total $79,000, Owens said.
In addition, the work is being funded by donations from local residents. Owens singled out Bob Mills and Judy Kleen for their contributions.
Demolition of the offices was scheduled to wrap up March 24 by a work crew from North Broadway United Methodist Church.
After interviewing staff members and clients of the Family Services Building and Food Pantry, a team of students from the Ohio State University Design Studio, mapped out how the space will be arranged for the renovation, Owens said.
The project architect is Bass Studios Architects, which Owens said created detailed drawings from the student designs and helped with the bidding process. Mid-Ohio Construction was awarded the contract.
The work is scheduled to last 12 weeks, Owens said.
"I want it done yesterday, the community needs it done yesterday, but we're going to make do with what we have," he said.
Once the space is renovated, food-pantry clients will be "coming to a warm, welcoming place," said CRC outreach worker Aouatif Agoumi.
"Rich people always get to go to nice places," Agoumi said.
"Now poor people can go to a nice place. Maybe that will be a chance for them to change their lives."
"We value the neighbors that we serve, and this will show that," Owens said.
"Definitely," Agoumi agreed.
Stephanie Baker, CRC associate director, said demand for the food pantry has increased dramatically over the past few years.
"This renovation will allow us to serve the increased needs of our community more effectively," Baker said in a press release.
The new space will feature education areas for both children and adults, Owens said, and will better accommodate the community dinners and Sunday breakfast gatherings at the West Lakeview Avenue site.
Food-pantry hours in the temporary location will be noon to 4 p.m. weekdays. Family services hours at 3230 N. High St. are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
The reduced space during the renovation means the CRC can accept only nonperishable food.
In-kind donations will be welcomed on completion of the project, as will donations to the furnishings fund for the education areas, Baker said.