The YWCA of Salt Lake City plans to extend its services to more women and children by expanding its campus.

YWCA officials met Wednesday night with the Salt Lake City Planning Commission to present plans to renovate and replace now-inadequate facilities on the campus at 322 E. 300 South in an effort to reach a larger portion of the community.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the plan, which calls for a pair of new three-story buildings to serve as women's crisis shelters and residences, along with support spaces such as a day care and after-school programs for children.

The additions will increase the number of beds at the campus from 75 to 160.

"We hope by doing this, we will expand and enrich our capacity to serve women and children affected by family violence," said Anne Burkholder, chief executive officer of the YWCA of Salt Lake City.

One building will front 300 East on the west side of the YWCA campus, with an accompanying parking structure. The other new building will be located on the south side of the campus. Some existing surface parking will be reduced to make way for the new construction and planned green space in the interior of the campus.

The YWCA of Salt Lake City has been planning for the renovations since 2004, Burkholder said.

The new buildings will be constructed in accordance with the citywide effort of sustainable development. The project has been designed to at minimum meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating of silver — and possibly gold, said Jill Jones, principal of AJC Architects.

YWCA officials also announced plans for a third building to be constructed in a future phase of renovations, creating a Center for Families on the corner of 300 South and 300 East. The new facility, which would require the existing crisis shelter to be demolished, would provide space for counseling, legal, medical and police services.

The YWCA's redevelopment plan received unanimous support earlier this month from the Central City Community Council, which in an e-mail to city planners called the YWCA "a great neighbor."

The project needed Planning Commission approval because the YWCA is classified in city code as a "large transitional victim home," which is a conditional use in the residential/mixed-use district.

In 2006, the YWCA celebrated its 100th year of working to strengthen the safety, health and well-being of women and their children in Salt Lake City through social service, social change and women's leadership development.

The YWCA of Salt Lake City provides shelter for battered women, children's advocacy and intervention services, child care, after-school recreation, housing and supportive services for teens, community outreach and education, and transitional housing.


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