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The building at 505 W. 8th St. will be transformed into the new home for the Salvation Army’s Grace Place Shelter, which is currently based in Somerset. Renovation work is set to begin later this month with move-in day scheduled for September. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Grace Place set to kick off renovation

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Grace Place set to kick off renovation
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Exciting things are about to happen at the former nursing home at 505 W. Eighth Street in New Richmond.

A large chunk of the $200,000 needed to renovate and transform the facility into the Salvation Army’s new Grace Place shelter has been raised, and work will soon begin, according to Duana Bremer, director of Social Services for the Salvation Army in the St. Croix Valley.

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Bremer said about $93,000 of the $200,000 the organization hoped to raise for the project is already in the bank, with several thousand dollars in pledges and commitments still coming in. Though donations are still being accepted, enough has already come in to get some phases of the project underway.

The first order of business will be installing a new security system, which Bremer hopes to have up and running in the next week or two. Then, attention will turn to installing a new water pipe from the street to the building to accommodate a sprinkler system that must be put in to bring the building up to code. Bremer hopes to get that phase of the project going shortly after the security system is installed.

Paul Mayer, vice chair of the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, has been busy early this year collecting donations for the project, and he’s confident that the $200,000 mark will be reached and surpassed.

“You never know on an old building,” Mayer said. “When they tear a wall out to put plumbing in, all of the sudden there’s problems. So, we’re not stopping at $200,000. If we get $225,000 or $230,000, that’s perfectly OK, because we may have other things we have to do anyway.”

Those interested in donating can send checks to the foundation by writing them out to either Grace Place or the New Richmond Area Community Foundation with “Grace Place” in the memo area of the check, and mailing it to PO Box 96, New Richmond, WI 54017. Checks can also be dropped off at the front desk at the New Richmond News office (127 S. Knowles Ave.) during regular business hours.

Once more donated funds hit the organization’s account, more work can be done.

“We’re going to need some additional funds for the showers,” Bremer said. “We need to do plumbing upgrades. We need to replace one air conditioning unit. We need to put an additional water heater in for the kitchen, because that one does not function.”

After that, the project will focus on general upgrades to the facility’s rooms, including paint and furnishings.

The Salvation Army is working with ARCHNET USA, an architectural firm based in Stillwater, Minn. Construction firms Keller Companies (based in Hudson) and Derrick Companies (based in New Richmond) have volunteered resources to the cause and will be involved in some capacity, according to Bremer.

Bremer said excitement is building at the current Grace Place location in anticipation of work beginning on the new facility. After completion, which is scheduled for September, the New Richmond shelter will accommodate up to 35 people with space to someday reach a capacity of 60. It will be a great improvement on the current facility, which has space for just 24 people at the former convent at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Somerset.

“We’re extremely excited. We can’t wait to have the office space we need and the space for our clients,” Bremer said. “We’ve been so full all winter that we had people sleeping in the living room at Grace Place. So now, moving into the new space, we’re going to have plenty of room for everybody.”

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How to help

Write your check to pay to the order of either Grace Place or the New Richmond Area Community Foundation with “Grace Place” in the memo area of the check, and mail it to PO Box 96, New Richmond, WI 54017. Checks can also be dropped off at the front desk at the New Richmond News office (127 S. Knowles Ave.) during regular business hours.

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley worked at RiverTown Multimedia from July 2013 to June 2015 as editor at the New Richmond News. 
(715) 243-7767 x241
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