NEAL P. GOSWAMI
BENNINGTON -- United Counseling Service is planning a significant expansion of a satellite facility on Dewey Street that will add an addition to a historic home.
Bennington Planning Director and Zoning Administrator Daniel Monks said UCS has filed permits with the town and has worked with the town’s Historic Preservation Commission on its expansion plans. Monks said UCS originally planned to demolish the existing building, a former home. However, because of its historic nature, the HPC asked for a revamped plan that would preserve the building.
"They agreed that they’d preserve it and move it to the north of the property," Monks said. "They haven’t been back for final approval, but it’s exactly what the HPC was looking for," Monks said.
The building is home to UCS’s children’s services program. The organization’s Web site says the program helps children gain skills to become productive and responsible adults "through guidance, counseling, and non-judgmental support to children in schools, at home, or in crisis."
UCS has indicated on permit applications that the project will cost about $900,000. The existing structure will be moved to the north of the property. A new, two-story addition will be added. The addition is expected to triple the space, bringing it to more than 5,000 square feet.
Monks said the HPC generally likes additions to historic structures to be similar in style, but "not mimic exactly" the original structure.
UCS is expected to receive final approval from the HPC today on the design, which was created by BMA Architects and Planners, a local firm. The HPC is only an "advisory" board, Monks said, "but holds a lot of weight" with the Development Review Board, which will have the final say on the project. The project is expected to go before the DRB next month, according to Monks.
UCS did not return a message seeking comment.