By Frank Cupido – Lead Consultant
The Pride Center at Equality Park (Pride Center) located in Wilton Manors, Florida, provides a welcoming, safe space that celebrates, nurtures, and empowers the LGBT communities and friends and neighbors in South Florida. The Pride Center’s programs and services meet the distinct socio-economic, health, spiritual, and safety needs of the LGBT community. It hosts more than 60 regular meeting groups each month and more than 35,000 adults and youth attend activities at the Center, each year.
Pursuant to the State of Florida and Broward County public health regulations, the Pride Center facilities were closed to the public beginning in March 2020 to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Pride Center leadership in July engaged The Executive Services Corps – South Florida (ESC SF) to jointly develop an operational plan to address the following COVID-19 virus reopening challenges and to facilitate a safe reopening:
- Need for a comprehensive plan for reopening the Price Center facilities that ensures employee and clientele safety.
- Need to communicate to Pride Center employees and clients the new COVID-19 related operating procedures
- Need to ensure rentals of its space for community functions follow the Pride Center’s COVID-19 related procedures.
The ESC SF established its team and then formed a working group with the senior leadership of The Pride Center. This included Mr. Robert Boo, Pride Center Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Kristofer Fegenbush, its Chief Operating Officer. To support our efforts, we obtained copies of reopening plans from several other community organizations, including LGBT support centers, across the country. We used their plans as starting points for the development of our own.
Given the uncertainty regarding the COVID virus’ progression, we developed an approach that would organize the Pride Center reopening into distinct phases. These phases would be directly related to the virus reopening phases as established by local government to provide clarity and to ensure our plans would meet regulatory approval.
In addition to weekly project review calls with Mr. Boo and Mr. Fegenbush, we made an on site visit to obtain a first hand view of the specific challenges the layout of The Pride Center facilities presented for a safe reopening. As an example, The Pride Center houses a HIV Testing Center which we targeted for an early opening. This required several mitigation steps to the area surrounding its space.
Our working group jointly authored a reopening plan of nearly 70 pages that provided a comprehensive, detailed set of operational procedures that the Pride Center would implement as it progressed through its phases of reopening. Building sanitization procedures, including the frequency and prescribed means, were detailed in the plan.
The plan established new rental rates and procedures for the use of rental space by community groups at the Pride Center. It also provided an in-depth communication plan, including examples for communication materials including posters, floor markings and other building signage.
Mr. Boo and Mr. Fegenbush, who played a direct role in the drafting of the Reopening Plan, both expressed their appreciation and approval of our work. Mr. Boo informed us that he has presented The Pride Center Reopening Plan to several community groups who have requested copies to use for guidance in their reopening efforts.
Client: The Pride Center at Equality Park
Mr. Robert Boo Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Kevin Fegenbush Chief Operating Officer
Executive Services Corps – South Florida
Mr. Joel Greenbaum President & CEO
Mr. Frank Cupido Lead Consultant
Ms. Kathy Octavio Consultant
Mr. David Contois Consultant
To view or download a copy of this plan, click here