Building on Hope, based in Concord, NH is an organization of volunteers including builders, designers, architects and suppliers who renovate buildings for nonprofits. 3W design, inc. was invited to be a part of the round-the-clock work on the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire (CCCNH) emergency shelter. CCCNH is the only agency exclusively dedicated to working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Merrimack County.
As owner and president of 3W design, inc., Cheryl Tufts, CGR, CAPS, CPG has 30 years’ experience in designing, building, and remodeling commercial and residential properties. But she never imagined being part of a project to completely transform an outdated, 17-room, 100+-year-old building – in only 10 days onsite!
This isn’t the first time 3W design has pitched in to aid the community. As a longtime board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire, Cheryl said, “I really understand the issues that kids, women and some families face in Concord so much better.
“Several years ago, the director of the Concord Crisis Center of NH at that time asked for a donation or help with a bathroom countertop that needed replacing due to water damage. Between our fabricator and 3W design, we donated the counter.
“So, when asked to volunteer with this Building on Hope project, it was an absolute yes for me.”
3W’s team agreed to take on the largest bedroom on the third floor and third floor bathroom. “During the intensive week, I wondered why I was crazy enough to take on two spaces,” Cheryl said, somewhat wistfully. This of course had to include a bed and bathroom integration with a completely new HVAC system.
Cheryl added, “But to see the faces of the staff and CCCNH’s board of directors, knowing that growing the shelter from 14 to 23 beds means they will not need to turn away so many women and children, and that their environment is so beautiful inside as they help these families, was worth every bit of it.”
The renovation, with $500,000 in community funding, was a labor of love by more than 400 volunteers and hundreds of businesses of all types.
Cheryl noted that the project was extra tough for her and 3W’s designer, Alyssia Zevos, because their workspaces had to be delayed for installation of the new HVAC system. The HVAC was going through a scuttle attic into the attic with a small opening for access—with the only eaves entrance in the bedroom Alyssia was working in.
“Alyssia ended up putting together the entire room between Saturday and Sunday, finishing Sunday a.m. at 11:55—with the big ‘reveal’ happening at noon,” Cheryl said, “truly in the nick of time!” She painted rooms, made 5 beds and a crib, hung drapes, and set up all the furniture to make a fabulous large bedroom that sleeps 6!
The Building on Hope projects’ results are well articulated on their website. “The structures and facilities of service groups are more than just buildings. They are like homes where lives are changed, and hearts are mended or strengthened. By enhancing those ‘homes’ we help these vital organizations in their work and bring renewed hope to their efforts. The benefits are far-ranging, helping not only the people being served by the non-profit, but also empowering and inspiring workers, volunteers of the groups and the communities around them… Building on Hope sees ‘hope’ as more than just a feeling. It is the most essential tool or building supply we have to make our communities, our state and our world into a better, stronger, happier place.”
The project volunteers’ accomplishments over the past two years have been amazing and they include:
- The building, which featured an inefficient floor plan, was virtually gutted
- The shelter’s capacity was almost doubled, from 4 bedrooms with 13 beds to 7 bedrooms with 23 beds.
- Seventeen rooms were renovated
- New HVAC and a security system were installed
- There are new windows, flooring, and siding
- There is an ADA-compliant bedroom, bath and kitchen; it’s wheelchair accessible
- Bedrooms have new bedding, built-in shelves, desks, and storage.
“Living in Pembroke, raising our girls and helping with our five grandkids over the years has maybe sheltered us somewhat. With the Boys & Girls Club, I realized the other side of what some families have to deal with just to survive,” Cheryl said and continued, “It was the same with the CCCNH shelter project. For me and the 3W design team, it was a reminder of how fortunate we are. I feel so grateful that we could contribute our talents and expertise to the community for this cause.”