Construction On Service Board Site Begins

The following article by Ian Munro/DN-R is as published in the Daily News Record (Harrisonburg, VA) on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

Work is underway on the more than $11.5 million project for the new Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board building at 1241 N. Main St. in Harrisonburg.

Four of the five buildings on the property will be demolished, making way for a consolidated space where nearly all of the clinic personnel will be stationed, according to Ellen Harrison, executive director of the services board.

The Arbor House, which was built about six years ago, will remain standing, she said.

Total square footage will be increased from 26,000 to 52,000, with more offices and other space, Harrison said.

“We’ve had about a 55% percent increase over the last seven years in total people served, and we need the space to provide more services,” she said.

In 2018, the board provided support for mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services for over 4,900 city and county residents. The clients are almost exactly split 50/50 between city and county residents, Harrison said.

Residents who come to the board regularly visit more than once, according to Harrison.

“That’s a lot of foot traffic,” she said.

Some services will also be moved to and from the North Main Street address and the board’s McNulty Center for Children and Families on East Washington Street.

The McNulty Center will also go through “modest” renovations, adding more office space and housing the board’s development services and infant and toddler programs.

“It allows for a smoother transition for those children who are graduating to adult services, and it allows for parents and children receiving services to come to the same building as well,” she said.

Funding for the project comes from the county, city and the services board, she said.

“All three of us are going into this with a cost-sharing agreement and each one of us is holding an obligation for a third of the debt,” Harrison said.

Work is expected to be completed by April 2021, she said.

The work is being done by Lantz Construction Co., and Mather Architects drew up the plans, according to the building permit.