Southern Vermont Council On Aging, Sandy Conrad

Southern Vermont Council on Aging, Sandy Conrad

Sandy Conrad, Executive Director of the Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging, asked the City of Rutland for assistance in applying for 2015 VCDP grant to purchase and renovate the property at 143 Maple Street in order to relocate the offices of the SVCOA. The current second-floor location of the SVCOA was outside of Rutland and not conducive to pedestrian traffic or accessible to clientel. The new property was a former assisted living facility that had been vacant for years and located in the City’s Northwest Neighborhood, a target neighborhood for rehabilitation. An aging neighborhood where the seniors who benefitted from the multiple programs provided by the SVCOA would have better access to services. The property at 143 Maple Street is listed on the Vermont State Register of Historic Places but had been altered to fit the needs of the clients residing at the former assisted living facility.
The City was awarded a $300,000 VCDP Public Facilities Grant to assist in the historic preservation and rehabilitation of the property. The Queen Anne style building had the historic porch and foundation restored. The exterior restoration included historic house window sills, lattice work repair and historic paint scheme. Despite a budget that tripled, Sandy persevered and the project was completed six months ahead of schedule.
Currently, a total of 2,672 seniors and handicapped/disabled LMI clients receive benefits at the new location. This is an increase of 576 people from the prior location.
This project required collaboration amongst a wide range of people and agencies including: Mayor Louras and the Rutland City Board of Aldermen, Project Vision, Rutland City Police, Rutland Redevelopment Authority, VCDP, Citizen’s Bank, Sen. Brian Collomore, NeighborWorks of Western Vt and neighborhood residents to name a few. However, it was Sandy’s perseverance that enabled this project to come to fruition. The project had its share of setbacks and hurdles with budget overruns, funding issues and a learning curve regarding grant administration. Through Sandy’s passion and devotion to caring for elders the project was successful. Although Sandy is no longer the Executive Director, both she and SVCOA, should be awarded for their efforts to assist in the revitalization of the Northwest Neighborhood and continued dedication to the seniors in Rutland County and the State.