Work begins at campus for veteran and military members in Franklin

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff

Published: 09-20-2023 4:46 PM

With $23 million in federal funds, Easterseals NH is set to begin the construction of its 15-acre military and veterans campus in Franklin next month.

The project, a retreat for veteran and military members and their families, has been made possible by money awarded to Easterseals NH from the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and State Fiscal Recovery Funds.

“The Easterseals NH Military & Veterans Campus will change lives, support families, and offer a much-deserved way of saying thank you to all who have served or are serving in the military today,” said Andy MacWilliam, the nonprofit’s board of directors’ chair.

One of the core features of the project is affordable housing, providing veterans with 30 units of permanent rental housing. A retreat center with short-term rental bedrooms will also be available.

The campus will also offer therapeutic opportunities like rock climbing, a military-themed playground, an outdoor performance stage, and a space for equine and dog therapy.

“This is truly coming together the New Hampshire way because there is no other facility within the region that has incorporated housing, hub of services, therapeutic recreation, and family supports the way this project has been developed,” said Maureen Beauregard, president & CEO of Easterseals NH.

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The first phase of the project will begin in October and is expected to be completed in early 2025.

While the $23 million federal grant is a significant boost, the nonprofit remains committed to raising additional funds to complete the retreat center and the therapeutic multi-purpose building.

“New Hampshire has one of the highest per capita populations of veterans in the country, so we know the need for access to programs and housing is high,” said MacWilliam. “We are confident with the support of our statewide community, the nonprofit sector, private businesses, and citizens that we can raise the remaining funds needed to fully complete this incredible campus.”

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