The University of Utah’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center is expanding to double the size of the current office, said Bri Blanchard, a staff member at the center. The Center will be temporarily relocated to the area known as The CORC for the summer, but regular summer hours and operations will be maintained while the office is remodeled, Blanchard said.
“We’re really excited to get out of the small office about the size of a broom closet,” Blanchard said. “We’re finally breaking out of the closet, well, metaphorically.”
The new resource center will have an expanded area for more computers, a refrigerator and a graffiti wall where people can use removable paint, she said. The center is scheduled to be finished by the start of the next semester, and a grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for the university’s Pride Week in October.
The current office is approximately 400 square feet and the new office will be just under 1,000 square feet, said Cathy Martinez, the director of the resource center.
“This has been a long time coming and we’re extremely excited for the move. We’ve been in this office since 2006 and we’re just getting too big for it,” Martinez said.
The remodel will take the entire summer to complete but it is well worth the effort, Martinez said.
“The new center will be large enough to complete all the tasks and help provide all the resources that we need for the students,” Blanchard said. “We’re really excited to be able to match the growth of the center’s attendance with a larger office where students can have a safe space.”
Each year, the center has a variety of activities and a speaker’s bureau, a mentor program and an entire week in October called Pride Week with different activities and events. The center also helps support the inclusion of LGBT-friendly policies and teachings into the academia and workings of the school, in addition to being an advocate and awareness resource for the university campus and the community at large.
The center will be open during the summer semester Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the fall and spring semesters the center is open an hour later.