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Wilmore Family Center undergoes renovations

By Glenn McGlothlin

glenn.mcglothlin@gmail.com

The Family Center in Wilmore is performing renovations to its facility creating three separate rooms, a reception area, multipurpose room as well as ADA compliant restrooms for individuals with physical disabilities.

Located at 334 E. Main Street. Founder and executive director Tara Hall said she is hopeful the work will be finished this spring.

Hall said the biggest part of the non-profit’s renovation is the new restrooms.

“We had been dreaming of this for some time,” Hall said. “Although this project carried a price tag of $20,000, we were told if we could raise half the costs our dream could come true.”

However, Hall said $1,000 is still needed before work can begin on the restrooms.

The current restrooms are at the top of a narrow flight of stairs and do not feature diaper changing stations. Hall also said it is only large enough for one adult and child.

“They are impossible for those who are wheelchair bound or have other physical limitations,” Hall said.

The three new rooms will be used for the diverse selection of family units that frequent the Family Center, and the new reception area will further utilize the space.

“This will allow simultaneous activities in both areas without disturbing each other,” Hall said.

The added multipurpose room will utilize previously unusable space and will be occupied upon completion by a senior citizen exercise group and girl scout troop.

“In the future, many other community groups could rent the space for a very modest facility fee,” Hall said.

The renovations to the Family Center were necessary partly because of the age of the building in downtown Wilmore.

“Its history has been our biggest asset thanks to its visibility, but at times, its layout and maintenance has been our biggest challenge,” Hall said. “We are so blessed to have our building recently purchased by Eckmann Properties who cares about our vision, values and mission and is working with us to see our dreams come true.”

Hall said she founded the Family Center in February 2014 when she observed many families struggling to have their unique needs met in Western and Central Kentucky.

“I’ve seen lots of modern families, particularly working families, needs go unmet like education, access to services, enrichment, community, empowerment and entertainment,” Hall said. “I’ve tried to design programming based on those wants and needs, with increasing success. Our attendance has grown from 40 visits every month to an average of 300.”

Hall said the Family Center offers over 50 unique classes and events, most of which are designed for the whole family. Some examples include STEM, arts, educational and entertainment programming.

One area in the community that Hall said she identified as a need was postnatal care.

“I have always heard that the lack of postnatal care in our county has led to a high rate of undiagnosed and untreated postpartum mood disorders,” Hall said. “Bellies and Beyond is a monthly workshop series for pregnancy and the first year. The Family Center steps in this gap with classes about nutrition, birth, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and even fun topics like photography.  We have also partnered with Lactation Care with Elizabeth in Lexington to provide monthly consultations and information on the second Tuesday night of each month.”

For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.wilmorefamilycenter.com or email fundraising@familycenterky.org.