by CAROLE MILLER –
RENO ARP BENEFICIARIES volunteer to clear the site for a new program residence.
Slam! Bang! Smash! Crunch! Just some of the sounds heard when beneficiaries from the Reno Corps’ Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP) used sledgehammers recently to begin demolition of an old building. The structure was beyond repair and needed to come down to clear the site for construction of a new ARP residence. Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio (R-Reno) and Mayor Bob Cashell also took a few swings at the building. Then a large construction backhoe began the “serious” work.
It all made for a great media event to symbolically – and literally – kick off the long-awaited construction of a new $1.8 million, nearly 13,000 square foot facility for the rehab program. Other guests joining Reno Corps Officers Majors Tom and Sylvia Petersen included Charles Horsey, III with the state Housing Division; Madalyn Lassonde, Northeast Neighborhood Advisory Board; Captain Doug Riley and David Bentley, Del Oro Divisional Headquarters, Sacramento; and local Salvation Army Advisory Board members. Referring to the demolished structure, Capt. Riley said, “What replaces this is something we’ll be proud of. This isn’t about a building, it’s about people’s lives being changed.”
The new facility is being funded, in part, by grants from the Lied Foundation of Las Vegas ($562,000) and The Cord Foundation of Reno ($75,000). The project also received $400,000 in state Housing Trust Funds—and $8,500 from the Northeast Neighborhood Advisory Board to help with landscaping costs. Salvation Army reserve funds, including sale proceeds from the existing facility on Second Street, and private donations will cover the balance.
The demolished building on the corner of Valley Road and Timber Way in northeast Reno was an “add-on” to the Army’s Work Therapy Center (WTC) production warehouse. The WTC is where the men in the program learn and re-learn work skills as part of their rehabilitation process. Over the years, the torn-down building has been used as Salvation Army administrative offices, ARP offices and last year—the Christmas Distribution Center.
The existing ARP residence, located a couple of miles away, has served the program well since 1971. However, it is no longer cost effective due to maintenance issues. The new facility will be built adjacent to the warehouse, creating a more unified work and residential program for the rehab clients.
Local contractor Q & D Construction was selected for the design-build project. The facility is scheduled for completion in early November and will have room for up to 70 beds, a good-sized commercial kitchen, a multipurpose room, counseling space and – hopefully – classroom space for culinary arts training.
A formal dedication to officially celebrate the new building is planned after the first of the year.