Catholic Charities Gets Ready to Expand

By WBNG News

January 8, 2011 Updated Jan 8, 2011 at 7:44 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A group that helps tens of thousands in the community is expanding.

After years of planning and raising money, Broome County Catholic Charities is adding on to its location.

Action News Reporter Brennan Smith shows us how the end of a successful capital campaign is making it happen.

Broome County Catholic Charities has been at 232 Main Street for a long time.

"That building is over 45 years old, it's about 13,000 square feet on three levels plus a basement and we've outgrown it," said Steve Scoville of Binghamton.

Steve Scoville is the co-chair of a capital campaign to raise money for a renovation and addition to the building.

After four years of raising funds, and raising $2.75 million for a challenge grant by the end of last year, Catholic Charities is ready to begin phase one of its expansion project.

"We submitted plans to the city and it's going to go through a process that they have for sight plan approval, and that's where we are with that. We're in the middle of designing the rest of the building," said Lori Accardi from Broome County Catholic Charities.

The agency has outgrown its building because it continues to serve an increasing number of people each year.

That number is now estimated at around 50,000.

The new building will provide new and improved space for the 300 people who work there, and the many people who visit the building each day for counseling and other services.

The current plan is to tear down the house next to the current building and to put on an addition joined by an atrium.

"It will become more handicapped accessible. The atrium in the middle will become environmentally green because we'll be taking in a lot of light in that area, and trying to incorporate as many green features in as we can in the new building project," said Accardi.

Catholic Charities hopes to start construction this summer and have the project finished by the end of the year.

They've had much success raising money thanks to the generosity of the community.

"It took twice as long as we thought it would take. We thought it would take two years and it took us four years, but we've had a lot of support, a lot of foundations, matching grants and we're very fortunate to get it done and we hope it works out well for our people and our staff," said Scoville.

Growing a new building to meet a growing need,

In Binghamton, Brennan Smith, WBNG-TV Action News.

Catholic Charities says it will continue to raise money for the project.

It will need to buy new furnishings and equipments for the new building.

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