A project years in the making is finally getting underway in Burlington’s Old North End. Jonathan Farrell, facility director at the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), is excited to share the future of 95 North Avenue.
If you’ve noticed the empty building while driving by, it is for good reason. It is the beginning of what will be a new shelter for COTS. Farrell says it has been a long time coming.
“The expansion came about for a number of reasons, one was our day station which is our day time drop in center for homeless individuals was flooded out several years ago.” Said Farrell.
Shortly after the flooding in 2012, a search started to find a permanent location for the day station.
So far this winter, an average of 72 guests have stopped in at the day station for warmth and a hot meal.
“So the expansion is a co-location of programs we will have out day station, case management programs for singe adults and for families, housing resource center and prevention programs.” Said Farrell.
Demolition is scheduled o begin on February 29, and everyone at COTS is hoping for good weather during the construction phase.
The extension will bump out the back of an existing structure, after the outdated concrete addition is torn down. A three story extension will house the new day station on the first floor, with a south facing entrance with the second floor housing the apartments.
When it is finished the space will have doubled to nearly 25,000 sqft. It will be a one-stop shop from 14 permanent affordable housing units, laundry facility, and support services.
A portion of the $3.5 million project is being paid for by low income tax credits.
“COTS and the community raised a large amount, we are leveraging public and private financing almost evenly in this project.” Said Farrell.
From construction to the grand opening will take a year and a half.