Building on Hope provides boost for Amherst nonprofit
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent | March 10. 2014 9:26PM
Andrew Constable, 27, a client at Opportunity Networks, talks about the ongoing renovations at the nonprofit organization in Amherst and how the makeover will benefit himself and other young adults with developmental disabilities. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON PHOTO)
Construction began in January as volunteers gutted the entire 6,000-square-foot building, erected new walls, and installed electrical and mechanical elements. Additional renovations will begin in May, when the official build begins. The big reveal is anticipated for May 18.
"Think of 'Extreme Makeover' on steroids," said Karen Vanderbeken, co-chairman of Building on Hope. She said the majority of the construction project will be made possible with donated products and volunteer services.
"The new building will be an awesome thing," said Andrew Constable, 27, of Amherst. Constable is a client at Opportunity Networks, which helped him obtain employment at a local grocery store — a job he describes as amazing.
"We didn't have the courage to take this project on," said Steve Desmarais, member of the board of directors for Opportunity Networks. It was "divine intervention" by Building on Hope that will be making the much-needed improvements a reality, according to Desmarais, who said the new facility will be life-altering for people with developmental disabilities in the Souhegan Valley and Greater Nashua.
To learn more about the project or donate to the cause, visit www.opportunitynetworks.org