About the Center for Change

The Center for Change, modeled on similar creations the Centre for Social Innovation (Toronto) and the David Brower Center (Berkeley), is designed to be a hub of innovation, creativity, education, and leadership development.

Collaboration is a primary focus of the nonprofit tenants sharing the space in the Center for Change:  Community Shares of Wisconsin, Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, Numbers 4 Nonprofits, Wisconsin County Human Service Association, and Wisconsin Women’s Network.  All of the organizations share space and equipment.

These organizations also share volunteers’ time, networking, and learning resources.  In addition, the Center fosters partnerships among consultants and experts who offer their services at low or no cost to tenants.

All tenants are automatically members of the Center for Change.  As of 2012, non-tenants are invited to be part of the Collaboration Initiative for an annual fee.  Through membership the Center will build a community of like-minded people dedicated to working for justice issues, with the goal of creating lasting social change.

Historic Building and Sustainability

The “Sunkist Building,” name for the familiar Sunkist image on the east side of the building, was originally constructed in 1929 by the Heilprin family for the Heilprin Wholesale Produce Company.   The location was the northern terminus of the Illinois Gulf Central railroad, which ran from New Orleans to Madison.    The Heilprin family lost their business in the Depression of the 1930’s but the building continued its general storage use serving the dairy industry, the school lunch program, and even the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The building was purchased by Delta Properties in 1989 and they began renovations to create office space in 1998.   Delta was a critical partner with Community Shares of Wisconsin as the Center for Change was designed and constructed in 2010-2011.

Renovations included the reuse of the entire existing structure, as well as environmentally friendly updates such as a white membrane roof, high-efficiency HVAC, new thermopane/operable windows, occupancy sensors for common area lighting, a common area shower, water saving plumbing fixtures, and indoor bike parking.   The Center is located on several bus lines and is situated on the Madison bike trail system.  A shared time underground parking garage on the block helps meet the parking needs of building users.

The Center for Change was spearheaded by Community Shares of Wisconsin.


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