What goes around comes around and this is true for the Salvation Army in Barre as they have completed purchase of the historic old 1860 Town Hall building at 75 N. Main Street in downtown Barre. Now the permit process will begin to renovate this large building into a major community resource center.
Ironically, the Salvation Army of Barre was housed on the second story of this same building from 1924 to 1982. Since its recent purchase from John Ormsby, an architect firm was hired to transform the two story plus basement into three even-layered floors with an elevator system that will make it much more accessible for people with disabilities.
According to Barre Salvation Army Lt. Chris West, this will allow the Army to double its food kitchen and dining facilities, add a very large teen center along with more space for their church and the many children and adult social programs it offers. Everything will be modernized. “We will need at least four more staff members,” notes Lt. West.
This year’s Salvation Army’s of Barre Christmas Castle and WORLD Santa Project will be once again operated at the 75 Main Street location as it was last year.
Lt. West is very excited about the plans for a supervised teen center with a pool table, music system, video games, foosball, etc.” all designed to keep the kids off the streets in a very visible location.
The enlarged kitchen and dining space will be on the main floor and overlook the downtown.
Food storage will be in the basement and because of its new size they will be able to conveniently organize and handle the donations they receive from the Stuff-A-Truck drive coordinated by Frank, Froggy and WSNO radio stations. The Army also purchases food.
There will be a stage upstairs for musicians and drama events, along with space for offices and other programs.
Their Thrift Shop at the other end of town will remain as is and their present location at 25 Keith Avenue will continue to operate as their main office.
“Hopefully, if all goes well, this project will be near completion by later next year,” says Lt. West.