Beyond the Build

Community Service

By Donating Office Space, Community Connectivity Comes to Us

When mapping out our corporate campus back in 2006, we allowed for expansion space in the floor plan. It seemed like a smart move for a growing company, and I stand by the decision.

However, challenges the economy has presented the last few years mean the extra space did not fill up as quickly as we anticipated.

Unlit offices and dormant space are good for storage, but not much else.

We decided to put the expansion space to a better use in the meantime by reaching out to deserving non-profits and emerging partners. We can house them during their establishment and growth phase, or in some cases, during periods of funding challenges where they might not be operating otherwise.

The benefits are a two-way street. The organization gets the benefit of the space and support. We get vibrant and passionate people spending time in our breakroom, sharing ideas with our team.

Currently, we are enjoying the company of a USGBC representative. Their Alabama Chapter uses a federal grant to train people in sustainable building techniques, coaching them in job seeking skills for this part of our economy. The program head has recently moved to our campus, and it has been a great pairing.

While we already had a paper recycling program, she has connected us with the Alabama Enviromental Center’s downtown collection spot. We now have a method of recycling materials such as glass that were not previously a part of our program.

This is a win/win for everyone.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how you can help the community without a big monetary investment and how to donate meeting space. How are you helping non-profits in your area?

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.