Groundworks plans demolition of former Drop-In Center

New building for staff offices will be completed in spring 2022

BRATTLEBORO — As the third and final phase of Groundworks Collaborative's South Main Street capital project, the former Groundworks Drop-In Center at 60 South Main St. will be deconstructed this fall in preparation for a new building in its place.

The design will allow for adequate space for Groundworks' growing program staff, many of whom have worked without offices since the start of the pandemic.

The new building will be home to Groundworks' case management team, the Representative Payee program, and Healthworks, the team of embedded providers from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, and HCRS.

Healthworks is a growing program that started in 2015 with a part-time clinician from the Brattleboro Retreat working at Groundworks Shelter. The program has now grown to include a full-time Brattleboro Retreat clinical social worker, a registered nurse from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and a case manager with a focus on drug and alcohol counseling from HCRS.

All team members work with participants at each of Groundworks' program locations.

The program has been recommended for expansion funding from several federal sources.

Funding for the new building has largely been covered through Groundworks' capital campaign and public sources contributing to the overall South Main Street project. However, given the increased cost of building materials as a result of the pandemic, the project is running about $60,000 over the original budget.

Deconstruction of the original building was approved and recommended after a lengthy historic, environmental, and archaeological review process with the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation and the National Parks Service.

In keeping with plans for historic preservation, Groundworks will maintain the historic (circa 1790) three-sided fireplace from the original cape and build the new structure around it.

Deconstruction is slated to begin Monday, Oct. 4, followed immediately thereafter by construction, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.

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