Next year, the teen center will shift across the street as part of the Goodman Community Center’s Brassworks expansion project. Our youth and staff have been working with Eppstein Uhen Architects to talk design and ensure that youth voice is part of the process.
At the first meeting with the architects, young GCC LOFT users saw building blue prints and some images of what the interior spaces could look like. After this, Carrie Breunig, Girls Inc. coordinator, took a group of youth on field trips to other community spaces designed to support learning.
Youth were inspired, and they documented their visits to the Memorial Union, Wheelhouse Studios and the Madison Public Library. Students took photos of some of their favorite design aspects — from the marble counter surfaces to the individual study pod chairs.
Teens then used these photos to create vision boards that they used to present their findings back to their peers. They also distributed a survey and analyzed data to determine the varying needs of all youth who access the Center. All of this data was presented at a meeting with the architects in early December.
Youth presented by using posters that displayed how they use their current space, what they think the perfect classroom looks like, the social and academic spaces they need, what kind of outdoor space they need and how they envision the new space to be different.
Cliff Goodhart, the lead architect on this project, was extremely receptive to the teens’ feedback and knew instantly how to incorporate their ideas. Goodhart also recognized the capacity of our youth and began thinking of ways to continue involving them in the design and construction process.
Goodman youth are excited to continue engaging and taking ownership of their new space, and we are thankful to be working with such an intentional and creative team.
Goodman Community Center Construction Update
The mild October and November weather helped the construction crew work through the fall months on the Brass Works building. Underground utilities are connected and the basement and foundations for the building addition are in place.
In preparation for the colder months, the historic structure’s shell has been temporarily enclosed, including the roof monitors. Work is ongoing to restore the wood decking and a stain was selected to match the new wood work with the old. Masonry restoration is underway, and temporary bracing and shoring remain in the historic structure as construction continues.
At the new addition, concrete masonry walls for the stair and elevator shafts were erected. Precast plank was installed at the first-floor level and a concrete topping was applied. Site backfill continues, freeing up the site for more construction staging space.
In the months ahead, Vogel Bros. will be erecting the new exterior shell and continue the rehabilitation of the historic building. Shop drawings for exterior windows and doors are being reviewed by Eppstein Uhen Architects for fabrication this winter.
Meanwhile, GCC is reviewing plans to renovate Ironworks Cafe and gym spaces. Included in these plans is a larger food pantry with an adjacent community room, an increased fitness facility and additional rooms to accommodate the afterschool program.
Megan Dow, GCC Youth Programs Manager