Center City HIV-testing hub Washington West Project is back in business after undergoing a two-week renovation. The updates come courtesy of a $20K grant provided by Philly AIDS Thrift in Queen Village.
“We have a great community space in the middle of the Gayborhood,” says Prevention Services Director Eric Paulukonis, ”but we didn’t have enough space to accommodate everyone who was coming through the door.” He projects that the new, more-open layout will make the flow of operations smoother, which will in turn help increase the Center’s testing capacity. “More people will be able to get tested and fewer will be walking out because of long lines.”
He walked me through some of the updates (you can click on the images to make them larger):
On the first floor, walls were opened up to create a reception area for guests and a more-organized workspace for employees. There were hardwood floors installed and fresh paint applied throughout. But perhaps most exciting, is that the large area in the back has been split into two private testing rooms (pictured, below.)
The second and third levels didn’t see much change, but the spaces will benefit from the extra testing room on the first floor. This means there will be fewer crowds and less double-booking of the rooms on these levels, which are used to accommodate groups like TRUE Care Clinic, Sisterly LOVE and the T.R.I.P Project.
Another exciting addition is the neat loft area on the fourth floor, which will be used as a space for youth groups like Street Smarts and A1PHA Project. GO! Girls, a local “giving circle” that pulls its resources to help female-supportive Philly orgs, freshened up the space with a new coat of paint. Funding from Philly AIDS Thrift provided new carpet and a window overlooking 12th Street. Paulukonis says there will be new furniture and a large flat-screen TV coming soon.
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