The Spy recently sat down with St. Michaels Community Center’s (SMCC) Executive Director, Patrick Rofe, to discuss the ongoing renovations of their building and the fundraising efforts supporting the project through its end-of-2023 anticipated completion date. Additional charitable donations and grants are required to achieve the project’s $4.5 Million goal.
The project aims to expand the center’s community food distribution and education services, including establishing a modern commercial kitchen for the new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Workforce Development Program.
During the renovation period, the community center is operating from temporary office space provided by Christ Church, St. Michaels, as well as leased space previously occupied by the Key Lime Café and Crab ‘N’ Que restaurants on Talbot Street.
The renovated facility will address the shortcomings of the original World War II-era structure, initially built as a lumber warehouse. It will feature amenities such as a second floor which will be used for offices, operating windows, improved insulation, a functional HVAC system, and enhanced accessibility.
The decision-making process for the community center’s future programming and functionality is guided by input from residents of St. Michaels and the surrounding areas. A community needs assessment survey conducted in 2020 revealed a demand for a technology center, workforce development programs, and arts and culture initiatives, among other requirements.
In addition to the culinary arts and hospitality workforce training programs, the renovated center will include equipped classrooms for after-school programs, summer camps, adult education, and a Technology Center offering online classes in partnership with Chesapeake College. It will also serve as a home for a retail entrepreneurship training program.
The St. Michaels Community Center expects to double the number of individuals served once the new building is fully operational. Their commitment remains focused on assisting the region’s population that lacks resources and helping them transition to self-sufficiency.
Architectural renderings of the renovated building, planned capital improvements, and information on online donations and supporting the campaign can be found at www.stmichaelscc.org/future
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community with year-round programs and activities for children, families, and adults. Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area.