For years, the Alpha Family Center building consisted of a cramped greeting space that overflowed with children while workers met with clients in tiny rooms. However, things will be different after this month.
The non-profit that provides an array of services to local families – including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, GED classes and baby supplies – will move into a new space at 519 E. Main Street. There, visitors will find an open waiting room, office spaces designed for privacy and a separate ultrasound wing.
Alpha Family Center will host an open house this Thursday, July 12, from 4pm-7pm, for anyone who wants to step in and take a peek.
Dozens of People Helped with Renovation
The building at 519 E. Main Street has been through several iterations in its lifetime. It served as home to the Baptist church, and the old baptistery was uncovered during the recent renovation. Then, it was the first spot of the FROM thrift store. More recently, the Lowell United Methodist Church owned the property which it christened the RAYA Building and used for youth programming and other activities.
When Alpha Family Center started looking for a new location, the building seemed to be in the perfect spot and offered the right amount of space. Thanks to fundraising and a generous anonymous donation, the building was purchased in January.
Since then, a steady of stream of volunteers have stepped up to transform the space from what was largely one open room into offices, a conference room, ultrasound wing and more.
“We have been blown away by the coming together of this building renovation,” says Christa Wetzel, executive director for Alpha Family Center. “We’ve had groups of people from four up to 80 working on the building.” Those volunteers have included the Lowell High School Girls Softball team, Love Week volunteers and church groups. Chris German has overseen the project as contractor.
Ribbon-Cutting and Baby Shower Part of Open House
There was a special ribbon-cutting last week for the ultrasound machine donated by the Knights of Columbus from St. Mary Church. And now it is time to open the doors to the rest of the building.
A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 4pm on Thursday, July 12. Afterward, the center will hold an open house until 7pm. During that time, a baby shower will also be held to collect donations of diapers, wipes, baby wash, sippy cups and other supplies. However, no donation is required to walk through the building.
“It’s been exciting to see life coming to the corner of Jackson and Main Streets,” Wetzel says. “People that have been in Lowell and remember when it was FROM or the First Baptist Church will be blown away on the complete transformation of the building.”