Tri-County Patriots hopes grant boosts renovation plan
Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living hopes a $1.5 million state grant to convert a former YWCA in Washington into a community center will lead to more support for the project.
The renovation expected to cost $8 million is designed to build space for the organization that helps people with disabilities, plus open up a gymnasium and other facilities that anyone could rent.
Though less than $50,000 in other funds have been raised so far, the grant announced last week “will convince potential donors the project has statewide support,” said Kathleen Kleinmann, Tri-County Patriots' chief executive officer.
Founded in 1990, Tri-County Patriots provides referral services, peer support and skills training to more than 500 people in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties with a variety of disabilities. Some are as young as age 9.
The organization plans to explore other funding sources to renovate the former YWCA on West Maiden Street.
“They were looking for a major player, and found one,” said principal architect Ken Kulak, referring to the grant from the state's Redevelopment Capital Assistance program.
Preliminary work on the building, including asbestos removal, has begun but renovations depend on further funding, said Kulak, director of architecture for Cservak Management Services LLC of McMurray.
Tri-County Patriots bought the three-level building for $325,000 about two years ago, Kleinmann said. The brick, Elizabethan Revival style structure housed a YWCA from 1929 to 2002.
“A lot of things are in place, but (architectural) details and moldings went into extreme decay,” Kulak said.
After renovations, the building would have three stories and an elevator for clients' use, plus facilities including a gymnasium with a stage that Kleinmann said could be rented to the public on evenings and weekends. Wellness programs could be held in the gym, which will have exercise equipment.
Rooms would be built for training aides to work with Tri-County Patriots clients, and the center would have a cafe with wireless computer access. The building would be fully handicapped accessible, and include green features such as water reuse and solar panel equipment, Kulak said.
Buying the building was part of a strategic plan developed four years ago, Kleinmann said. The former YWCA is more than double the size of the Tri-County Patriots headquarters a few blocks away on East Beau Street.
“We needed more room,” Kleinmann said. “Instead of rebuilding, we thought it would be better to make use of a vacant building.”
Eric Crunick, treasurer of the Tri-County Patriots board, said there was some worry about the project.
“With it being an older building, there was trepidation if we can handle this,” Crunick said. “But Kathleen has a vision, and the heavy lifting is being done.
“It's a beautiful structure we hope will be helping other people, not only clients.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Neighborhood movie theaters use unconventional methods to draw customers
- North Allegheny grad earns international recognition for public speaking
- Dormont library program to pay tribute to Japanese culture
- Arsenal hard cider now served at Soergel Orchards in Franklin Park
- Allegheny County libraries getting upgrade with computer software program
- Mt. Lebanon church plans $2M expansion project
- Event to offer glimpse of cemetery’s history at Old St. Luke’s
- Mt. Lebanon looks to tackle pedestrian safety issue