BENNINGTON — A health care organization providing services for young children with autism has purchased the former Global-Z International building on Shields Drive for $550,000 and plans to begin operations there in the near future.
Christy Hoffmann, a behavioral analyst and the director of the Green Mountain Sprouts program, said Monday that once the organization upgrades the fire alarm system as required for a facility hosting children, the early intervention center will open at the Bennington site.
She said Green Mountain Sprouts will provide full-day services for up to 12 children with autistic symptoms.
The program has been under way in the Bennington area since May, she said, with services being provided at the children’s homes.
Green Mountain Sprouts is affiliated with Green Mountain Behavior Consulting Inc., which was established in Vermont in 2014. Another affiliated services program, Seeds of Change, serves children in central Vermont.
Green Mountain Sprouts will serve children from about 18 months to six years, Hoffmann said.
5,000 SQUARE FEET
The former Global-Z office center is a steel-frame building at 395 Shields Drive with about 5,000 square feet of space. It was constructed in 2001 and sits on 4.95 acres, according to a TPW Real Estate advertisement.
Global-Z is expected to move into space at the Courthouse building on South Street. That structure is one of three historic buildings at the Four Corners in the downtown being renovated as part of the Putnam Block redevelopment project. Bill Colvin, assistant director of the Bennington County Regional Commission and local point-person for the Putnam project, said in an email Monday, “Global-Z is about to commence fit-up [final renovation work] in the Courthouse. They are still working remotely currently.”
Global-Z is a founding member of the consortium of organizations, businesses and individuals that is overseeing the Putnam Block redevelopment work over four acres around the former Hotel Putnam.
The data processing, hosting, and related services business will have renovated space on the top floor of the Courthouse building, which also later served as the home of the Pennysaver Press.
Paul Carroccio, of TPW Real Estate, said Monday he sees the sale and the willingness of a health care organization to invest in Bennington as a good sign for the local economy.
Investment in commercial property here “is really outpacing other markets,” he said. “It’s beginning to really pop.”
According to the Green Mountain Behavior Consulting website, the business was established by CEO Melinda Neff in 2014, “with the vision of providing high quality, family friendly, and child-centered behavior analytic services to support children, youth and adults with disabilities in the schools and in the community.”
In 2015, according to the website, Green Mountain Behavior Consulting expanded “to include an early intervention program for young children with autism, as research shows that early intervention leads to the best possible outcomes for young children in the spectrum.”