For 10 years the Women’s Resource & Action Center (WRAC) had been searching for a new home. The center had spent 30 memorable years in the blue house, but space was running out. In order to meet the needs of campus and support an expanding staff, the center was looking for a comfortable and appropriate space that would meet its needs. In January 2016, WRAC moved to its new home in the Bowman House.
Two possible locations had come and gone in 10 years of looking. There were plans to move the center to the University Capitol Center before the 2008 flood and also a review of whether the center could move into the basement of Hillel House. Four years ago, the director of WRAC learned about a potential new space, Bowman House.
Bowman House has served as the Admissions Visitor Center and was most recently a temporary office space. After reviewing the space for needs and outlining the budget, renovations began in 2015. Staff members quickly made the move during the winter break.
“Moving to the new house in the middle of the academic year was great for us,” says Linda Stewart Kroon, director of WRAC. “It gave the campus the opportunity to say goodbye to the blue house and for us to communicate our new location.”
WRAC provides the same services it always has in its new location: volunteer training programs, leadership development, diversity and inclusion programming, violence prevention education, advocacy, individual counseling and peer-led support and discussion groups. Foot traffic to the house has increased dramatically and both the number of volunteers and the number of individuals attending programs has gone up.
“Students found the house right way, as well as faculty and staff,” says Stewart Kroon. “The house has been busy non-stop. Student organizations hold their meetings here, students stop by to hang out, and we’ve hosted retreats and receptions. We’ve had to create a building use policy for the first time, to meet the needs of all the groups who want to utilize the space.”
The Bowman House is a welcoming building that provides WRAC with the space it requires to meet the needs of our campus.
“WRAC is not only a place for those who need help, but also a place for fun, to meet others, to volunteer, and to relax,” says Stewart Kroon. “You can come to WRAC for any reason or no reason at all.”