East Madison Community Center receives Design for a Difference makeover

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Design for a Difference with its local sponsor FLOOR360 redesigned the East Madison Community Center, updating 18 spaces within the center. NBC15 is also a sponsor and partner of Design for a Difference Madison.

Design for a Difference began five years ago nationally in partnership with the International Design Guild in order to help make a difference in communities. Design for a Difference works with community sponsors and showrooms who select local charities and organizations that could benefit form a redesign.

This year, the group chosen in Madison was the East Madison Community Center, which offers programming and resources to all age groups and caters to people throughout Dane County.

"I'll be honest, it needed a lot of help," said Mark Brunetz, National Spokesperson for Design for a Difference. "That's often the case with charities, they spend so much of their money on the resources, they never think about putting it into the actual space, so we think it's a perfect marriage."

A team of 44 designers and over 200 companies worked together on the East Madison Community Center redesign over the course of about a year. The interior redesign of the building itself took two weeks.

"Yes, it's 12,000 square feet, but having 44 designers to it, there's all these little touches everywhere," said FLOOR360 President Bob Tobe. "Slogans, positive imagery, there's just the right color combinations. The power of design is what makes the difference."

Staff and those who use the community center said they were excited about the possibilities in the redesigned building.

"It really says they want us to have great programming, they want us to do well, and it just gives you a good feeling," said Betty Banks, a member of the center's leadership team.

Brunetz said that making the staff and community members feel comfortable and seen in the space was the goal.

"Design for a Difference really is about honoring the work that is done by charities, and in this case, East Madison Community Center," said Brunetz. "So we hope the staff comes in every day and feels like a big giant hug. They know that they're appreciated, they're loved."