Easterseals gets ready to build veterans housing, services campus in Franklin
15-acre campus to include affordable housing, short-term rentals and retreat center
With $23 million in unused pandemic relief funds, Easterseals NH unveiled plans to develop a new 15-acre veterans campus in Franklin, which it envisions as a central hub for providing housing and a range of services to former members of the military.
The campus – the first of its kind in New Hampshire – will feature 30 units of affordable housing, a retreat center with event space and 24 short-term hotel-style rentals as well as a co-working space for service providers. Outdoor amenities will include a playground and a challenge course with obstacles
Hooksett-based design and construction firm Procon, which created the master plan, is expected to start building the campus in September on what will be a roughly 15-month schedule.
The campus is being built on a 15-acre site with a lot of history, including a historic old school and Daniel Webster’s home. The school and a dormitory were more recently the home of the Farnum Center for substance use disorder treatment.
“New Hampshire has one of the largest per capita populations of veterans in the country, so we know the demand is high,” said Maureen Beauregard, president and CEO of Easterseals. “This new campus will create a singular pathway to connect military service members, veterans and their families with the services, programs, and assistance they need. It is a project of passion for all of us at Easterseals NH and we are deeply honored to be a part of such an important mission.”
The campus is a continuation of Easterseals’ mission to support and provide services to the state’s veterans. Since 2007, Easterseals’ Veterans Count program has provided care to over 9,000 service members, veterans and their families, said Andy MacWilliam, chair of the Easterseals board of directors.
“This project is the culmination of years of exploring new and revolutionary ways to better serve this specific population of families in New Hampshire and we are thrilled to be taking this dramatic step towards fulfilling our goal of serving those who have served our country,” MacWilliam said. “We can’t wait to get started.”
The organization was awarded $23 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act, but Beauregard said additional funds will be needed to build a planned therapeutic equine facility, a dog yard and a health clinic.