That’s a phrase Carrie Krepps, government director of Florence Crittenton Household Companies, gives as she explains how her group was just lately in a position to get $1.25 million from the Group Growth Block Grant – CARES Act fund that helped them to purchase the previous Cooney campus, with plans to place the operations below one roof and proceed to supply companies to younger households.
Officers with Crittenton, which has been in Helena for 125 years, referred to as it a brand new chapter within the group’s historical past, “one that can take us via our subsequent 100 years.”
Crittenton acquired the grant via Lewis and Clark County and has given up its leases on different properties and plans to maneuver all of its operations into the campus quickly. The inspiration closed on the constructing in early December, upon getting notification of getting grant.
What began as a quest to search out extra space was the nonprofit group shopping for a 28,294-square-foot constructing on 3.75 acres at 3404 Cooney Drive from Paul and Kelly Arneson for $2.5 million. It additionally has two houses and a duplex. The campus has served as an workplace for the Mountain-Pacific High quality Well being Basis and, at one time, the county hospital. It additionally had a Mexican restaurant to the aspect of the primary constructing, however the eatery, La Casa Fiesta, has relocated to Euclid Avenue and the constructing was transformed again right into a two bed room single-family residence.
Persons are additionally studying…
“This can be a very uncommon property, however for somebody like us, a corporation like ours, it’s good,” Krepps mentioned, including it is a bit more quiet and personal than Crittenton is used to.
Krepps mentioned they entered a short-term mortgage in partnership with First Interstate Financial institution to purchase the property. Crittenton wants to boost about $2 million, which features a important donation off the acquisition value from the proprietor, the CDBG grant and $255,500 in non-public money donations, she mentioned.
Crittenton has utilized for County America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and any remaining cash wanted to pay the remainder of the mortgage will likely be raised in non-public and grant funding over the subsequent 12 months as half of a bigger capital marketing campaign that will likely be launched in February, Krepps mentioned.
There will likely be some renovations to the primary constructing on the campus. However Krepps mentioned the constructing is move-in prepared. It already has Wi-Fi, web wiring and entry, a safety system, air-con and a generator gifted as a part of the constructing, she mentioned.
And even via the property is within the county, it borders metropolis limits, and is connected to metropolis water and sewer.
Ultimately the primary flooring will likely be outpatient, administrative and youngster care. The purpose is to have everybody, which features a workers of 54, on campus. There’s ample parking, however Krepps additionally sees extra playgrounds.
She mentioned the constructing, which is manufactured from concrete, was in-built 1937 by the identical individuals who constructed Fort Peck Dam. Classes had been discovered about building after the 1935 earthquake that rocked Helena.
“This constructing is strong,” she mentioned.
Krepps mentioned she introduced the concept of a everlasting location throughout a board assembly.
“That is loopy you guys, we will’t hold gobbling up leases and have extra areas, extra areas and extra areas,” she recalled saying. “We want to consider doing one thing extra everlasting right here.”
“And you set it out to the universe.”
Krepps mentioned the Realtor she had been working with referred to as her in January and instructed her the entire property was on the market. She mentioned they began crunching numbers, evaluating present lease and working prices with the price of shopping for a brand new constructing.
She mentioned they’d appeared in October 2020 at leasing the basement of the Cooney Drive constructing from Mountain-Pacific High quality Well being, however mentioned there have been considerations about having youngster care below a enterprise. Plans are to increase the kid care program that now has a ready record of 38 for pre-school and 56 for infants. She mentioned if they’ll make enhancements to the basement flooring they’ll double their capability from 30 to 60 kids.
Krepps mentioned that in partnership with the previous homeowners, Crittenton has already moved a portion of its youngster care program into the backyard degree, in addition to a number of the community-based and administrative workers.
“We started leasing a small quantity of house in August so we may drop our different leases round city and deal with one house with extra operational efficiencies,” Krepps mentioned in an e-mail.
“Now that the Basis owns the constructing, we will likely be transferring our administrative and group workers upstairs to the primary flooring the place we are going to stay all through nearly all of the renovation of the highest and backside flooring for programming,” she mentioned.
Crittenton had leased some services, plus has a house on Harris Road that it owns, Krepps mentioned. She mentioned that could be a residential constructing and can finally be offered.
Krepps mentioned relying on fundraising and building timelines, they anticipate having all applications moved over within the subsequent 12-18 months.
“… we do no must promote our Harris facility, which we personal outright, to make the preliminary buy (because of the CDBG and fundraising!), we is not going to must discontinue any companies through the renovations,” Krepps mentioned. “This was crucial to us.”
Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Tom Rolfe mentioned via this grant, “Crittenton will be capable to present and increase vital group companies for many years to return.”
He mentioned Crittenton has a “super historical past of supporting of us, who below regular circumstances would possibly fall via the cracks.” And he added he’s “enthusiastic about non-public nonprofits that transfer ahead.”
“I’m delighted they received that quantity so can increase the companies they supply to oldsters and youngsters who possibly don’t have help from household,” he mentioned, including he as soon as toured the primary constructing.
“It seems to be a heavy-duty facility that can final a very long time,” Rolfe mentioned.
As soon as Crittenton completes the required actions for the CDBG grant and receives the funds, it is going to “promote” the constructing to Properties & Companies from the Basis and Properties & Companies would be the everlasting proprietor of the property.
“Whereas it added a slight quantity of complexity to the acquisition, we did this so we may honor our purchase/promote settlement with the homeowners that agreed to buying earlier than the top of the 12 months, which allowed for them to make the numerous donation off the acquisition value,” Krepps mentioned in an e-mail.
Krepps mentioned grant writing, proposals for renovations and different points linked with the transfer will start in early February. She mentioned day by day service is not going to be interrupted throughout the whole course of.
“This place will look quite a bit totally different after we are performed,” she mentioned.
For extra info on Florence Crittenton, go to www.florencecrittenton.org.
Assistant editor Phil Drake may be reached at 406-231-9021.