• Jenny Vallimont


Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Girls Rock CLT reached out to us and asked for help creating their new headquarters in NoDa. We sprung into action and helped make it a reality.

When Girls Rock CLT approached us in January they needed immediate help. They had been given the opportunity to rent a 100 year old house in a prime location of NoDa. This would give the organization a physical space for the girls they mentor to come practice music, host their monthly Amplify workshops and create a safe haven for them to relax. The only problem was that the house needed a lot of work to bring it up to code and meet the needs for the musical group.

We knew just the right partners. Down the road, the Duke Energy Innovation Center project at Optimist Hall was coming to an end. The construction team at DPR had a vested interest in this corridor and jumped on board as soon as they heard the need. What started as a project to build an ADA ramp turned into a full house renovation project by the DPR team. Everything from HVAC to kitchen appliances to flooring was donated and installed. It was an opportunity for the team to engage everyone from their laborers and management to their subcontractors and suppliers. It was a full team effort.

On Saturday, March 28th, the Optimist Hall team - including DPR, Gensler and Duke Energy - hosted the Girls Rock CLT girls for a house warming party. We collaborated with DPR to create a day of construction and design experiences. Female staff from the organizations did a quick introduction and explanation of each of their roles in the project to demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities. The girls got to get their hands dirty as they painted planter boxers and stands for the exterior. Gensler led them through a design activity in which they brainstormed and created their dream performance stage for the backyard. At the end of the session, Holly Hampton did a live creation of the stage design using input from the girls. The day finished with the girls placing their painted handprints on the back of the house foundation.

“On Saturday, March 28th, the Optimist Hall team - including DPR, Gensler and Duke Energy - hosted the Girls Rock CLT girls for a house warming party.”

As the project grew we worked closely with DPR and Girls Rock CLT to identify ways to create value for both sides. DPR saw this as an opportunity to support the building of confidence in our next generation of girls, something that is drastically needed in the construction industry. This could be an ongoing relationship, not just a one time gift. And that is what it has become. In the fall, DPR will come back and build the stage the girls designed and continue to find physical ways to help with the house. And DPR now has the cutest rock band in town at their disposal for upcoming events.

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