I have to admit, the space was breathtaking. Having been in the former chapel several times it was hard to believe this was the same space. What a few months and a lot of construction dollars can do! Repositioning the entrances so you can access the center from Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE was very smart and practical. The Advoc8te images a portion of the fence will be adjusted to allow for direct street access (or so I hope!).
The demonstration center covers two floors. The ground level has two large presentation rooms with plenty of seating. There is a reception area and restrooms on this floor also. Down below are classrooms and smaller breakout rooms for meetings and presentations. All in all, the space really is quite lovely. It remains to be seen how the space will be used. The Advoc8te has high hopes that the HOPE Project run by Raymond Bell will be heavily involved. To not do so (or at least offer) would be disappointing on many levels. Raymond Bell has done for years (and without government funding) what the R.I.S.E. Demonstration center hopes to do -- train Ward 8 residents in technology and then move them into jobs. The Advoc8te knows the Hope Project has been successful, only time will tell if the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center will be able to accomplish the same -- but The Advoc8te is hopeful! Regardless, it is a beautiful space and one thing we can use more of in Ward 8 is functional spaces with a purpose. About the only thing I am not in love with is the name. ;)
Including some pictures from my tour around the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for August 13th at 10am.