Community. Youth. Transformation. – The St. Francis Neighborhood Center Expansion
Architect | RM Sovich Architecture Inc.
Contractor | Whiting-Turner
Furthering an initiative begun in 2015, St. Francis Neighborhood Center is partnering again with Episcopal Housing Corporation (EHC) to expand its community center, considered the oldest such facility in Baltimore City. This historic Reservoir Hill building, which dates to the 1800s, is being carefully and completely renovated to maintain its historic character while providing contemporary interior space to support the Center’s programs, management, and future growth as it works to end generational poverty through education and community programming. Most notably, the expansion will provide the necessary spaces, including classrooms and meeting rooms, so the organization can expand its outreach to all members of the Reservoir Hill neighborhood, from youth to families to seniors.
Two classrooms and a multi-purpose space supporting the Power Project, an after-school and summer youth program, are being added. This free program offers children in the 21217 zip code after-school homework help, social-emotional programming, summer internship placement, and, ultimately, the intangible opportunities resulting from the care and support provided.
Additional new spaces include a refurbished library providing a quiet study hall for Center clients, conference room facilities needed for community meetings, and offices for administrative staff. Other renovations include an upgraded HVAC system, new flooring, and new lighting in all interior rooms to provide contemporary and attractive spaces. Existing windows are being replaced with ones that are both energy efficient and in line with historic building recommendations. Lastly architectural details, such as four tiled fireplaces and original woodwork, are being preserved to maintain the building’s unique character.
Slated for completion in late 2024, the St. Francis Neighborhood Center expansion will afford this organization the bandwidth and space needed to expand its services, which inspire self-esteem and self-improvement in its clients and strengthen connections within this community.