BALTIMORE — On Tuesday, city and community leaders held a groundbreaking for the new Unity Hall, a multipurpose non-profit education center that will serve Bolton Hill, Madison Park and Upton.
The center, called Unity Hall is scheduled to open in spring of 2022.
Plans call for the three-story building to be converted to a multi-purpose center for community arts, education and job training. Once renovated, it will provide a home for theater and musical events, art exhibits and studios, catered events and other community activities, as well as employment training, referrals, and health and wellness services.
“Unity Hall is intended to break down barriers that have traditionally divided the community and to build a healthy, safe neighborhood for all, by providing offices and working spaces for organizations offering programs beneficial to the community. It will be run on a nonprofit basis," said Ashiah Parker, president of Memorial Apartments Corporation.
MAC is the nonprofit owner of the building, and Somerset Development Company is its development partner. Leading the design and construction aspects of the project is architectural firm Ziger/Snead.
The project is expected to cost $5 million
As part of the conversion, the commercial kitchen and large banquet hall on the building’s lower level will be renovated to create a place for catering operations and culinary training, providing experience for people seeking employment in the restaurant industry.
The building will also house non-profits. One of the first tenants with a year lease is the organization Building Our Nation's Daughters.
BOND CEO Ateira Griffin told WMAR-2 News space in the new building will allow her non profit to ultimately reach its goal of having it's own space.
"That's our goal in the end," said Griffin. "Right now, we have a year lease, and we'll probably renew again."
Griffi believes Unity Hall will help provide resources desperately needed in two very distinct neighborhoods.
"The different organizations that will be house here, including BOND, will make sure that whatever resources we have access to, whatever networks we have access to, events, professional development opportunities, job opportunities go directly to our residents, so we don’t have this dividing wall anymore," she said.
More information on Unity Hall, click here.