EXTON – United Way of Chester County has purchased and renovated a 5,000 square foot freestanding building, located at 150 John Robert Thomas Drive in the Lincoln Center Commons in Exton, which will serve as the new permanent headquarters for United Way of Chester County staff as well as hosting a social innovation lab, a leadership training center and a financial independence center for the community. The center should be finished and ready to open at the end of September.
The decision to purchase a building was not on the organization’s radar, but with the office’s current lease entering its final year and an increase in rent, the board decided this strategic move was necessary. to set up United Way for the Next Generation. United Way of Chester County reviewed the new building in February 2022 and completed the sale on June 1. Demolition and renovation began soon thereafter.
“United Way of Chester County is beyond grateful to our Board of Directors and in particular its Chairman, Brian Parsons, who has worked tirelessly to help make this permanent residency a possibility,” said Christopher Saello, Chairman and Chief of management. “It was important to raise money for the building through a silent fundraising campaign to ensure it didn’t affect the annual campaign that supports nonprofit grants. In just 57 days, we have raised $1.395 million and all donors have agreed to donate beyond any current annual support Thanks to their generosity, our rent is now going away returning $80,000 to the community that otherwise would have gone to rent and occupancy costs, and that money will now be reinvested in the community.
Once news of the purchase slowly began to trickle through the community, United Way of Chester County received numerous calls from businesses seeking to support the project with in-kind donations, including:
• CTDI donated project management, CAD work, marketing, fundraising support and oversight of all building inspections
• SL Commercial donated pro bono project management, glass walls and kitchen counters
• Brandywine Valley Heating & Air donated a new HVAC unit and a major labor donation
• Blackney Hayes donated pro bono architectural work
• Lawyer Brian Nagle and MacElree Harvey donated pro bono legal work
• GA Vietri donated electrical works at reduced cost
• Opt4 Group donated state-of-the-art cables and AV systems at discounted prices
• Colonial Electric Supply donated 67 LED lights for the entire building
• West Chester Mechanical donated discounted plumbing
• Home Depot donated all new kitchen appliances
• Aidan’s Heart Foundation and David’s Drive 831 donated an automated external defibrillator (AED)
• WorkTogether-Downingtown donated pro bono interior design
• 3Spoons Productions donated photographs/videos free of charge
“This is a big deal for UWCC, and it’s really been a community effort to make it happen,” said Brian Parsons, CTDI COO and United Way of Chester County Board Chair. . “We expect this new site to provide physical and financial stability so that CUWC can continue to serve for decades to come. We are very grateful to everyone who supported him.
An open house and ribbon cutting are scheduled for October 6, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.