The Girl Scouts are coming to Warwick, and this time, it’s not just to sell cookies. The Girl Scouts of Rhode Island (GSRI) are putting their Providence headquarters on the market shortly, and will relocate to the former Ski Market on 500 Greenwich Ave. at the end of the year.
Preparations are already under way, and scouts and their families are helping to design the interior of the new space.
“It’s a more central location,” said Liz Andreadis, director of communications for Girl Scouts of Rhode Island. “It’s a modern facility that has lots of space and is the perfect combination of features.”
The building will house the offices for roughly 35 GSRI employees and will also serve as a hub for 3,000 volunteers and 9,000 Scouts throughout the state. Their current building on Charles Street is Providence was built in the 1600’s, and the Girl Scouts headquarters has been there since 1975. Nicole Kelly, a spokeswoman for GSRI, said the organization has outgrown the building.
“We did look at refurbishing the building,” she said, “But we couldn’t make it work financially.”
GSRI will spend approximately $2 million to convert the Ski Market into a space that suits their needs. In order to make it Girl Scout friendly, the organization has planned a series of activities and workshops for their Scouts.
Recently, a group of older Scouts visited Shanix Technology in Warwick to learn about smart boards and distance learning, things they hope to incorporate into the new headquarters.
Andreadis said the new technology could connect Girl Scouts from across the country.
Soon, the Scouts and their families will meet with Kite Architects to decide on the interior design of the building.
“They’ll get to pick the light fixtures, colors and workspace [layouts],” said Andreadis. “We don’t want to assume we know what they want.”
The process will take several months and construction is expected to begin in May. The new headquarters is expected to be operational by the latter half of 2012.