The YWCA Central Massachusetts recently announced the official completion of its comprehensive renovation of YWCA Central Massachusetts’ Salem Square location, after over a year of work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Built originally in 1961, the YWCA required complete MEP infrastructure replacements, accessibility upgrades, interior modernization work and exterior façade improvements. The renovation, completed by Consigli, a member of multiple AGC chapters, also provided several enhancements to the Early Education and Care facility, the creation of new classrooms and the integration of STEM programming and portable resources.
“Throughout the renovation, we had women living in our facility, and at the same time we were operating as an emergency childcare facility in the middle of a global pandemic, adding additional layers to an already complex construction project. With that, a female construction team was integral to the success of the renovation,” notes Linda Cavaioli, executive director, YWCA Central Massachusetts. “Their presence set an example for the children, highlighting what female leaders look like in a historically male industry. It was this understanding and respect that allowed the team to work so effectively, cutting costs & whittling down build time to complete such a complex project during a challenging year.”
Throughout its 135-year history, YWCA has provided affordable childcare, transitional housing, shelter and support for survivors of domestic violence, health and wellness resources, youth activities and more for thousands of women each year.
“Supporting the YWCA’s mission of empowering women was woven into the makeup of our diverse female management team,” explains Consigli’s Jody Staruk, project executive. “Every challenge was met with thoughtful consideration of the YWCA community.”
YWCA Central Massachusetts signed the first community benefits agreement (CBA) in the City of Worcester in so promising an all-women led construction management team, living wage jobs with benefits and an emphasis on diversity by employing union contractors and local women and people of color. The end result of the renovation included the participation of 50% Worcester County residents, 30% people of color, and 9% women, which exceeded the agreement and supports the City of Worcester’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan.
On June 23, 2021, the project was celebrated by over 100 people with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event also celebrated Executive Director Linda Cavaioli’s retirement after 29 years of serving the community and she was awarded a Key to the City by Mayor Petty.