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 Street 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 60 South Main Street building will be home to Groundworks’ case management team, Representative Payee program, and the team of embedded providers from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, and HCRS — known as Healthworks.
Healthworks started in 2015 with a part-time clinician from the Brattleboro Retreat working onsite at Groundworks Shelter. The program has since 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 of whom spend time working with participants at each of Groundworks’ program locations. The Healthworks program has been recommended for expansion funding by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vt.-D, (through the federal earmark appropriations process) and the Community Development Block Grant through the Vermont Community Development Program.
Funding for the soon-to-be constructed building at 60 South Main 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 short of the original budget.
Deconstruction of the original building was approved and recommended after a lengthy historic, environmental, and archaeological review process working 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 — building the new structure around it. Deconstruction is slated to begin October 4 — followed immediately thereafter by construction, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.