Cardinal Cushing Centers Nears End of $10M Capital Campaign
Two-story, 20,000-square-foot structure to be built at Cardinal Cushing Centers
The building itself is estimated to cost $9 million, and another $1 million will be set aside as an operating reserve to address additional parking needed.
Laurie Maranian, director of development for Cardinal Cushing Centers, said construction bidding for the new two-story, 20,000-square-foot structure is set to take place this summer.
The new building, which will replace several older buildings, will house six state-of-the-art classrooms and three retail stores: the Bass Café restaurant, Timeless Treasures thrift shop, and Cushing Trader gift shop. The stores will be staffed by Cushing students and adults served by the organization.
The location of the building on Route 53 will make it more visible and accessible to the general public, according to Cardinal Cushing Centers, to generate customer traffic that will provide greater opportunity for students to interact with more people outside of their families and the Cushing staff.
According to the Mass. Department of Developmental Services, young adults who have work experiences while attending school are much more likely to find and keep a job after leaving school. Also, the unemployment rate for people with intellectual disabilities is double that of the general population.
When the campaign launched three years ago, the original goal was to raise $13 million, of which $11 million was to fund the new building with the remainder funding an endowment to support maintenance.
Maranian explained that the original goal "was an early estimate for the project based on preliminary design back in 2014."
Since then, as the building design was refined Changing Lives Building a Community campaign was split into phases, with the first phase aiming to raise a total of $10 million for the building and operating reserve.
Among major donors to the campaign is the Yawkey Foundations, which provided $500,000.
Cardinal Cushing Centers is also converting one of its buildings into a 37-unit, mixed income and workforce housing community. The project, supported by, among others, MassHousing, Bank of America, Rockland Trust, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Town of Hanover, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is due for completion this spring.
When completed, the building will have on-site management, a laundry, a fitness room, a community room, bicycle storage, parking, as well as a modernized health center.
Founded in 1947 as a day and residential school for students with intellectual disabilities, Cardinal Cushing Centers, today supports more than 600 individuals of all ages, with the goal of helping each student and adult to become included and independent members of society. Programs include affordable housing, community programs, education, employment training, recreational, therapeutic, and residential services.