Clara Martin Ctr. To Restore Historic Bldg.

Front Page / Feb. 2, 2017 9:39am EST

By M. D. Drysdale

The town of Randolph has applied for a $300,000 grant that would help to fund a thorough renovation and re-purposing of one of Randolph’s most historic homes.

Built in 1875, the building at 28 South Main Street was once the home of the Clara Martin Center and is an architectural gem on Randolph’s main thoroughfare. However, it has been mostly vacant for the last 15 years, since the agency moved into new offices on Main Street.

The application from the town is to the Vermont Community Development Program. Christine Everitt, who is managing the project for the agency, said that the agency has already been assured that it will get the funds.

Clara Martin plans to redevelop the building to provide four units of housing and office and program space. The apartments would house clients who are homeless and who have a mental illness.

The beds are sorely needed by Clara Martin, according to Everitt. New federal requirements for such housing resulted in the agency’s loss of two beds several years ago, but the demand is there for four beds, she said.

“We’ve had people we couldn’t serve,” she said.

The location is particularly good because the agency’s Safe Haven facility is nearby. Safe Haven is a transitional home for homeless people, whereas the new facility would be for longer-term individuals.

It would be staffed “24-7,” Everitt said, and would house four individuals, most of them for an eight-month up to 2-year stay.

The residents of 28 South Main could draw on the services and companionship at Safe Haven if they feel isolated or lonely, Everitt explained.

The town of Randolph applied for the $300,000 grant from the Department of Mental Health, but the proceeds would be turned over to Clara Martin to do the construction.

“A good amount of work needs to be done,” Everitt said. In fact, she said, more fundraising is in the future, as the total cost will probably exceed $1 million.

The agency has employed a financial consultant to help raise the money.

“We’ll take it as it comes,” she told The Herald. “We have a plan.”

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2018 and be completed by the end of the year.

Return to top