Community Homeworks has finished the remodel of their education center that started in 2022 thanks to the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and have named it after Community Homeworks’ co-founders Shaun and Emily Wright. The couple founded Community Homeworks in 2009 and are now honored by being the Education Center’s namesakes.
The newly refinished Shaun & Emily Wright Education Center was officially unveiled on February 15, 2023, before the first in-person board meeting since 2020. The Wrights were invited to see the center, which was named after them, to view the updates that the space had undergone in a private celebration.
“We felt the facility naming was a fitting tribute to the two individuals whose vision and dedication set our mission in motion,” says Chris Praedel, Executive Director of Community Homeworks. “We hope each person who enters the space sees their names as a beacon of inspiration, knowing they too can dream big and make a lasting difference in our community.”
The remodel included purchasing new adjustable workbenches, allowing participants to practice standing projects, as well as host seated workshops and meetings. A new 75” screen mounted on a mobile stand can be utilized for digital presentations, and a new high-resolution projector was installed. There was new wiring run to install drop-down outlets so workshops can use tools that require power at their individual workbenches. The remodel gives participants and instructors more options during workshops as well as makes it a beautiful meeting place for other events.
In regards to safety, the education center will also have a new automated external defibrillator, or an AED. Many of the staff at Community Homeworks underwent training on how to use this medical device in case of an emergency at the education center or next-door office. Motion-activated lights were also installed in both parking lots, and the building has new security cameras inside and outside. These updates were added with the goal of making the education center and offices safer for both participants and staff.
The grant from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation also funded some exterior work on the Community Homeworks building. The parking lots were resealed, a fresh coat of paint was applied to the exterior, and gutters were added over the front sidewalks. The final touch was new signage, including new window signage for the Shaun & Emily Wright Education Center.
In order to enhance the hands-on learning that is an important part of Community Homeworks’ education program, the prop installations used to model repairs and maintenance were upgraded. The new designs by Education Manager Jason Byler make them even easier to use and change out for the various classes the education programs host. The equipment is now on wheels or mounted on wooden bases that are fitted to clip onto the walls, allowing easy swaps between a prop water heater to an electrical panel.
“It’s always been a dream to have things on wheels and be able to put them on the wall and off the wall,” says Byler. “It’s been in the works for a while, but the grant made it possible.”
The community is invited to see the new Education Center and attend Community Homeworks’ Home Repair Training workshops that are offered on Tuesday evenings at 6pm. Upcoming workshops are listed on the website, where participants can RSVP to reserve a spot.
To see our current workshop offerings, check here.