|Nov 22, 2013 --
Outline Of Need:
As a Community Action Agency, Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) provides a number of programs and services for low to moderate income Vermonters aimed at reducing poverty and creating prosperity. Prior to constructing the new building, Agency entities including Head Start, Weatherization Services, Community Economic Development, Food Shelf, Family Support Services and Workforce Development were scattered around central Vermont often duplicating services and lacking cohesive offerings to needy Vermonters. The new facility was designed to promote collaboration and interaction between agencies to create a synergistic environment conducive to creative thinking.
How Rural Development Helped:
In order to proceed, multiple funders were needed. The total project cost to develop this campus was $5.1 million. USDA RD was a lead funding source, providing a $2,000,000 Direct Loan. HUD made a $300,000 Special Purpose Grant and CBDG granted $830,000. Sale of an existing facility that was no longer needed and capital contributions from local organizations, businesses and individuals provided the balance.
The new campus opened in July 2013 and has increased operating efficiency and decreased costs by bringing most of its programs and more than half of its staff to one location. Final construction costs were $1.43/square foot—a low cost achieved by using off-the-shelf products in efficient ways. A high efficiency air to heat pump system provides heating and cooling and a roof top energy recovery unit provides dedicated ventilation air to the space during occupied times. The tight building envelope is 3.8 times better than the Vermont Energy Code. CVCAC's clients experience a holistic approach where multiple services are available in one place. The inaugural class of the Community Kitchen Academy course offered at the campus kitchen graduated in October. This program, provided in partnership with the Vermont Food Bank provides valuable training to those interested in pursuing culinary careers and also helps stock the campus' larger, modern food shelf to feed needy families. Clients have a new Resource Center with a library and computers. Job hunting, financial and business planning services as well as continuing education are being provided in the new classrooms. The weatherization program has an indoor garage/storage area for their trucks and supplies and its employees have a locker room and shower facilities. Meanwhile, the City of Barre continues to remake its downtown and is excited that 100 new people are working here and boosting the local economy as they shop in many of the small businesses located downtown. Click here for additional facts and photo of the project.