The YWCA Central Massachusetts began construction Thursday on a $24-million renovation of its Worcester facility.
The construction project has already hit a milestone: what the nonprofit says is the city’s first community benefits agreement, which ensures an all-women led construction management team. It’ll also promise living-wage jobs with benefits, and an emphasis on diversity by employing union contractors, local women and people of color.
The project will remake the YWCA’s Salem Square location with a relocated playground, a new shared play area with the Worcester Public Library, and four new rooms for residents to stay in the transitional housing program. Other improvements include an increase space for domestic violence services and the addition of a multi-use fitness area.
Other work is more utilitarian, including upgrading heating and air conditioning, repairing roofs and installing new windows and doors. The work is set to take about one year.
The YWCA Central Massachusetts was one of six community nonprofits to win a $1 million grant each in December from the Gov. Charlie Baker Administration and the Massachusetts Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. The funds support facility improvements at early education and care programs that serve low-income children.