Project of the Month: Connolly Brothers tapped to construct 20,000 s/f MarketPlace building for Cardinal Cushing Centers

November 01, 2019 - Owners Developers & Managers

Hanover, MA Connolly Brothers Inc., a general contractor and construction management firm based in Beverly, Mass., is working with Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc. on the construction of a new 20,000 s/f MarketPlace building, which will house the Cushing Café, thrift store, and gift shop, along with training classrooms.

A non-profit organization founded in 1947, Cushing Centers began as a day and residential school for students with intellectual disabilities. With additional locations in Braintree, Cushing now supports over 600 individuals of all ages, with the goal of helping each student and adult to become included and independent members of society. Programs include, among others; affordable housing, community programs, education, employment training, recreational, therapeutic and residential services. 

Connolly Brothers demolished an existing structure on the property before beginning site work and is on schedule to ensure the new building is enclosed prior to the winter season. Work will continue on the interior throughout the winter in order to meet the completion goal of May 2020. The two-story building is a slab on grade conventionally framed steel structure designed to complement the existing historic campus buildings.  

Shown (from left) are: Anne Fortune, Yawkey Foundation; John Von Ahn, Cushing CEO; Gerard Vitti, board co-chair and
Cushing parent;George Drummey, building committee; Jody Nash, board member, Cushing parent, capital campaign chair;
Jansi Chandler, Cushing VP of development; Jake Simmons, board member; Nicholas Heap, cushing student;
Ted and Maureen English, supporters. (Photo copyright: Bill Brett)

Designed by ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge to meet the center’s sustainability goals, the new MarketPlace will serve as a gateway to the Cardinal Cushing Center and a gathering place for both Cushing Center students and the surrounding community. The facility is being planned in two phases. The current phase will house retail establishments owned and operated by the center and staffed by students, as well as six classrooms dedicated to the vocational services program which provides on-site vocational and educational experiences. This phase also includes support spaces such as a quiet room, computer room, and private and shared offices. The retail spaces include the Cushing Café, a café/bakery with seating for 40 people; Timeless Treasures, a thrift shop which includes a “sort room”; and the Cushing Trader, a gift shop which sells goods handmade by students in an adjacent classroom. 

Phase Two will ultimately house administrative office suites, an employee training center, and additional learning spaces. 

Along with the recent addition of the Bethany Apartments, the MarketPlace building helps Cardinal Cushing Centers turn its vision of creating an integrated neighborhood where people with and without disabilities live, work, learn, shop, and socialize together, into a reality. This type of model community is unlike any other and places the organization on the cutting edge in its field.

“Choosing Connolly Brothers to lead the construction of this important project for our organization was a natural decision for us,” said Jansi Chandler, vice president of development for Cardinal Cushing Centers. “Our new MarketPlace building will give us more room to provide employment training to Cushing students and job opportunities for adults with disabilities in support of our mission to change lives.”

With over 100 years of experience with non-profit institutions in its portfolio, Connolly Brothers has worked on both new construction and renovation projects of all types and sizes throughout Greater Boston. 

Project team included: 

  • Connolly Brothers: Construction Manager
  • T. Sullivan Mechanical Inc.: Plumbing
  • Anchor Excavating Corp.:Sitework


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