We’re renovating our new home!

With the swing of a sledgehammer, the Pierce County AIDS Foundation kicked off the renovation of its new home on the first day of demolition, October 13.

The work, expected to finish in January, will result in a larger and more welcoming space for clients affected by HIV/AIDS in the South Sound. PCAF purchased the building at 3009 S. 40th Street in Tacoma and will renovate it thanks to financing from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and its own fundraising.

“The facility will provide an environment that is warm and inviting for those we serve, who often face stigma in our community,” said Duane Wilkerson, Executive Director. “Those who come through our doors face many challenges and difficulties. We are committed to creating a welcoming space that honors them and their struggles, and provides dignity and respect for all.”

The 9,850 sq. ft. building offers 40 percent more space than PCAF’s current location, while at the same time reducing costs by 35 percent. The building features six private interview rooms, meeting rooms for support groups and workshops, and a more spacious and comfortable waiting room, among many other amenities.

Renovations are being made with energy efficiency and environmental standards in mind and include natural and LED lighting, an energy efficient HVAC system, and use of recycled materials. Zenczak & Partners Architects, A.I.A. and BPCI / Accrete Construction L.L.C. have been contracted by PCAF for the project.

PCAF financed the purchase of the building and the majority of the funds needed for renovation through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The total project budget is $1.6 million.

“The Commission expanded our purchasing power, by providing us with a lower interest rate on the mortgage and allowing us to buy the right building for our needs now and in the future,” said Wilkerson.

“We’re delighted to be a part of this major step for Pierce County AIDS Foundation and its mission in the community,” said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission.

Fundraising is underway for support to complete the buildout, furnish the building and install technology, with a goal of raising the remaining approximately $250,000 by December 31, 2014.