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St. Joe’s plans $12 million renovation

March 29, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - The construction of a new, 10,000-square-foot veterans' residence won't be the only building project taking place this summer for St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers.

The nonprofit will also be embarking on a $12 million, state-funded renovation of the main St. Joseph's building off of Glenwood Drive.

"It will include renovations of the entire main building," St. Joseph's CEO Bob Ross said Wednesday. "That includes the portion that was built as an individual home in 1929, the wing that the (Franciscan) Friars put on when it was a seminary in 1961 and the addition that was built in 1991."

Article Photos

St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers plans to renovate its main building off of Glenwood Drive, seen here Wednesday, over the next two-and-a-half years using $12 million in state funds.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

Ross said the plans include extensive plumbing, electrical and heating system upgrades, replacement of the building's roof, and some major energy-efficiency improvements such as replacement of all the building's windows and the addition of more insulation. The project also involves rearranging some of the building's layout to make it more efficient for St. Joseph's programs, and its residents and staff. There will be no changes to the size or footprint of the roughly 50,000-square-foot building, Ross said.

St. Joseph's hopes to go out to bid sometime in the next few weeks on the building renovations as well as the construction of its 25-bed community residence for veterans suffering from substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, which received final approval from the village planning board just last week. The veterans' building will be located adjacent to the 26-acre St. Joseph's campus on the western portion of a 3-acre parcel off of Kiwassa Road that was recently rezoned by the village at the request of St. Joseph's.

"The hope is that it will be much more cost efficient to have one builder, one vendor come in and do the construction work for both projects, which will be happening at the same time anyway," Ross said. "The coordination problem would be a nightmare if we had two different organizations doing it, plus there's an economy of scale, so we hope to get a more favorable bid price as a result of that.

"That's one of the reasons why it was so important not to have the veterans' building delayed because we then would have had to delay everything, or separate them."

While the veterans' building is expected to be complete by early 2013, Ross said the main building renovations will take place in four stages over two-and-a-half years. As that work is going on, St. Joseph's will be moving staff and residents from one portion of the building to another so it won't have cut back on services, Ross said.

St. Joseph's currently has 63 residents and roughly 85 employees at its main Saranac Lake facility. The veterans' project will create another 15 jobs when it's up and running.

The funding for both projects is being provided to St. Joseph's by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.



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