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'Everybody wins' as Second Chances plans move

It's empty now, but plans are to move merchandise into Second Chances' newly remodeled store in August. Pictured are Turningpoint's Sexual Assault Services Coordinator Katie Ryan (left) and Executive Director Kim Wojcik. 1 / 4
Josh Larson of All Star Elevator prepares the new elevator for inspection.2 / 4
Donors may buy and inscribe tiles that will be hung on a wall in the new store. Pictured are Second Chances store manager Kelly Zillmer and her daughter Meghan, who volunteers at the store. 3 / 4
Turningpoint Executive Director Kim Wojcik and Katie Ryan, sexual assault services coordinator, look over plans for administrative offices on the third floor of the remodeled store. 4 / 4

Work that began a year ago is nearing completion as Second Chances, the secondhand store that helps fund Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence, prepares to move into a larger building in August.

Last August the agency bought the building at 117 N. Main St., right next door to the store it now rents in downtown River Falls.

When finished, the project will offer more space to display merchandise, will eventually allow more rooms for clients at Turningpoint's shelter, restores an historical building, revitalizes a part of the downtown and shows the commitment of the community to a worthwhile service, said Turningpoint Executive Director Kim Wojcik.

"Everybody wins," she said.

Since last fall volunteers and workers from Pilgrim Construction of Chippewa Falls have gutted the main floor of the old building, torn out old interior walls, added a loading dock, removed and replaced old wiring, widened an elevator shaft, installed a new elevator and renovated an entrance from the back alley.

Turningpoint and Second Chances will hold a fundraiser open house at the new store 2-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 30.

"That is not the moved-in open house. That's the come-and-see-what-we're-doing open house," said Wojcik. "We really want everyone to come and check it out."

The actual moving of merchandise, much of which can be done through a doorway between the two stores, will be completed in August. The lease on the current store site expires Aug. 31.

The new store offers more space and has nooks set aside for specific merchandise, such as books and children's things.

The second-level mezzanines -- one for men's clothing and one for women's clothing -- are complete with dressing rooms.

There's an office for the store manager, bathrooms and a break room and workroom for volunteers, plus lots of storage space for seasonal merchandise as well as materials needed for Turningpoint programs.

Once the agency can raise enough money to finish work on that level, the third floor of the multi-level building will hold Turningpoint's administrative offices, now situated in the agency's shelter in a residential neighborhood.

"We're hoping it's before the holidays," said Wojcik, noting that last holiday season the shelter turned away 14 people because there wasn't room for them.

For more, please read the July 18 issue of the River Falls Journal.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.

(715) 426-1049