Knoxville, Tenn.– The YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center, a community center and youth development program in East Knoxville, updated its modular classroom with help from Maryville, Tenn. based company Clayton, national home builder of off-site and on-site-built homes.
The modular classroom is located behind the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center was gifted to YWCA from another organization in the early 2000s. The almost 2,000 square-foot modular building has accommodated thousands of youth and community members over the last 20 years. Last year, the classroom showed severe signs of wear and tear and desperately needed to be replaced or renovated. After consultation with Clayton, longtime supporters of YWCA, it was determined the classroom was structurally sound and cosmetic repairs would be the most cost-effective option. Clayton team members volunteered their time and the company donated materials. Volunteers worked on the renovations almost daily since February, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the health and safety of team members, only two volunteers were permitted to work on the renovations at the same time.
“With the social distancing precautions required for the upcoming school year, we had to have the extra 2,000 square feet available to safely serve youth,” said YWCA CEO, Alizza Punzalan-Randle.
“With help from Clayton, we have been able to renovate approximately 90% of the modular facility. The cosmetic improvements have completely freshened up the space,” explains Monica Smith-Albright, Director of the Phyllis Wheatley Center.
“We’re proud of each one of our team members who volunteered their time and efforts to help with the YWCA modular classroom renovations,” said Chuck Morgan, Vice President of Clayton Home Building Group® Site Construction. “Partnerships like this enable us to help bring our purpose of opening doors to a better life to fruition.”
The newly renovated modular classroom can now serve up to 50 youth and allows YWCA to expand its affordable rental space options to the community.
The modular classroom has served as a library, training space, tutoring location, performing arts stage and much more for the youth that attend the After-School Enrichment Program at YWCA. Community members have used the space for church services, baby showers, and sorority meetings. YWCA plans for the modular classroom to be a reading, homework and tutoring space for youth when the school year begins.
“We are better together and so grateful to Clayton for seeing the mission and vision of our program. Our youth have a newfound ownership of their new and improved space!” Smith-Albright said.
About YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley
With a mission to eliminate racism and empower women, YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is a 120-year-old social service organization focused on offering victim advocacy services, violence prevention and education, transitional housing, and youth development programs across a six-county service area. YWCA has been offering a wide range of services to victims of domestic violence for 35 years, including: culturally specific services for refugee, immigrant, Hispanic/Latina and Black/African-American communities; referrals to partner organizations and shelters; referrals to one of the YWCA’s transitional housing programs; court- and community-based advocacy; crisis intervention; safety planning and danger assessment; and tangible assistance with housing and other essential basic needs.
Founded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happyness through homeownership. As a diverse builder committed to quality and durability, Clayton offers traditional site-built homes and off-site built housing – including modular homes, manufactured homes, CrossMod™ homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. All Clayton Built® homes are proudly designed, engineered and assembled in America. In 2019, Clayton built 51,964 homes across the country. Clayton is a Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information, visit claytonhomes.com.
*CrossMod is the trademark of Manufactured Housing Institute.