New Women’s Center for Advancement is Officially Open!
RDG Planning & Design is thrilled to congratulate the Omaha Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA) on their upcoming ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony this Saturday, April 14! After nearly 40 years, the WCA has moved to its new home and is already providing services to women in and around the Omaha community.
The WCA supports victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and prostitution and human trafficking. Having outgrown their former space and realizing that they could no longer adequately meet the high demand for safety and refuge in and around Omaha, the WCA turned to RDG in 2015 for programming assistance in defining their future space needs. Once specific building characteristics and square footage requirements were determined, the WCA hired real estate development consulting firm Field Day as their owner’s representative to find the perfect building to call home. It needed to be centrally located and in close proximity to public transportation, a hospital, and the courthouse, and just as important, to become a beacon within the city.
As the goal of the WCA is to provide immediate fulfillment of safety needs, the design team worked to ensure that an individual’s journey would take place in an environment that provided dignity, security, and comfort. The WCA required a calm, spa-like space for its clients that didn’t feel clinical yet provided the durability of a healthcare institution and the privacy and security of a safe place.
While services provided within the facility remained the top priority, the WCA also desired to portray a new face to the community in its new location. To accomplish this, RDG implemented a light-handed design strategy in an exterior renovation and rehabilitation of the building envelope. In fact, the former Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare building looks so different that it has been asked if the previous building was razed. While the original structure remains, the existing exterior brick was stained; the original window glazing was replaced to maximize interior daylighting and visual connections to the community, and a new entry signage canopy was added.
Symbolic of rebirth, touches of reclaimed wood add a modern element to the space. Undulating curves throughout represent the path victims may take during their journey within the walls of the WCA. Large windows that let in ample natural light reflect the notion that “where there is light, there is not darkness.” Artwork by local women hangs from walls.
The new facility, three times the size of its predecessor, comprises 15 consultation rooms, group activity rooms, education classrooms, support group rooms, a yoga and wellness room, and a private client waiting room. Additionally, there is a children’s play area and a walk-in closet for donated clothing.
Please feel free to join the WCA as they celebrate the opening of their new building at 3801 Harney Street with special remarks and an official ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 14! The building, located at 3801 Harney St. in Omaha, will be open for the public to view – everyone is welcome to this event!
The Women’s Center hotline is 402-345-7273 and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Visit the WCA project page on the RDG website here!