Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) provides free legal services to low-income residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The organization formed in 2001 when four separate legal services organizations merged; one of those, the Delaware County Legal Assistance Association, was housed at 410 Welsh Street in Chester, PA. LASP acquired their staff and building and maintains the facility as one of the organization's six regional offices.
The building was constructed in the 1950s and was last renovated in the early 1990s. Now the facility is in need of major systems repair and modernization. The litany of the building's woes includes a HVAC system dating back to the 50s, mold and water damage, electrical and technology systems in need of an upgrade, and a shabby look and layout that no longer serve the needs of the organization's staff and clients.
After several unsuccessful grant applications to replace the aged HVAC system, the LASP management team decided it could make a better case for funds to do more comprehensive renovations to its building. To develop a better sense of scope and cost of the project, LASP approached the Community Design Collaborative for pro bono design assistance.
The Collaborative recruited a multi-disciplinary team of architects, mechanical/electrical/plumbing and structural engineers, and cost estimators to do a comprehensive overview of existing conditions and provide the analysis and information needed to move forward with a coordinated renovation.
The team created LASP's plans for renovation and provided information that will guide the organization through a phased plan of improvement that will transform the space into a more functional, attractive, and uplifting facility. Collaborative volunteers did work that included a preliminary building code, a program of space needs, a proposed scope of repair work, new floor plan, a scope of work to restore the blighted exterior facade, and an opinion of probable cost for the work.
Master Plan for Renovation
April 27, 2009
The Community Design Collaborative, Thornton Tomasetti Group, Flatiron Building Company.
The project began in September, 2007 and was completed in May, 2008.