Resource Center looking for $225,000 to reach capital campaign goal by Dec. 31


The new LGBT Community Center opened in May. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)


Tammye Nash  |  Managing Editor

After eight years of effort, with about three weeks left to go before it’s done, Resource Center needs only $225,000 to meet its capital campaign goal.

“The capital campaign will end on Dec. 31,” the agency’s chief development officer, Cameron Hernholm, said this week. “We are about $225,000 short of meeting the goal” and fully funding the construction of Resource Center’s new LGBT community center on Cedar Springs Road and the remodel of the center’s Simmons Foundation Health Campus on Reagan Street.

In a last-minute push to hit the goal, Hernholm said collection boxes will be available through the end of the year at the Community Center, 5750 Cedar Springs Road; at the Health Campus, 2701 Reagan St.; at Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, 4012 Cedar Springs Road, and at other participating businesses in the gayborhood.

Donations can be snail-mailed to Resource Center’s offices — 5750 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, Texas 75235 — but the easiest way to donate, Hernholm said, is to visit the agency’s website, “If you go to the website and make your donation that way, you can even make a pledge donation that you can pay out over time,” she said.

Plans originally included construction of a larger facility at the 5750 Cedar Springs location, with a price tag of about $14 million. But the recession coupled with the rising costs of construction materials prompted Resource Center to reassess its plans. That led to the decision to build a not-quite-so-large new facility and remodel the facilities on Reagan Street rather than selling that property.

“When we set the original revised budget in 2013 and started construction, our goal was $8.7 million,” Hernholm said. “But of course, prices have gone up since then. In planning the remodeling at the Health Campus, we hadn’t budgeted for a new roof we found out we had to have, or the new energy-efficient windows or the new [heating and AC system} we ended up needing.”

Costs at the new community center went up, too, she noted.

“All the things that have happened in the last year, here in Oak Lawn and around the country, made us even more aware of the need for security, and so we increased the security measures, which increased the cost,” Hernholm explained. “Plus, there were some significant increases in the costs of the signage and construction permits the city required. And then of course, in any construction project, costs go as time goes on.”

That added up, she said, to an increase of about $586,000 in costs. “We were starting with a budget of about $8.7 million, but we didn’t just add that $586,000 to that; we went in and cut costs in other areas as we could. But with the increased permit costs and the additional improvements we had to make at the Health Campus, we were still a little short.”

The revisions and additions put the new total goal for the capital campaign at just over $10.3 million, and by early October, the campaign had already surpassed it’s original goal and was standing at just more than $8.6 million. Nearly $24,000 has been added to the total since then.

Resource Center’s capital campaign is the largest such effort by an LGBT agency in the state of Texas and one of the largest LGBT capital campaigns in the country, Hernholm said. All donors, “whether they give $100 or $1 million,” will be recognized on the “donor walls” at the community center and the Health Campus, she said, adding, “This really was a community effort. It’s taken everybody making gifts to make this happen, and everybody who contributed deserves to be recognized.”

Stressing again that the capital campaign will end on Dec. 31 no matter what, Hernholm said that Resource Center hasn’t met its fundraising goal, “however much we might come up short will have to be added to the budget for next year. We can’t not fix the roof at the Health Campus. We can’t not have an HV/AC system; this is Texas! So we will add to next year’s budget and I will have to find a way to get the money to pay for it.”

But, she added, “It would be better all the way around if we can just meet that goal by Dec. 31. So if you’ve been waiting, for whatever reason, to donate then do it now. This is your last chance to be part of the capital campaign.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 9, 2016.