Franklin, NH PROCON has formed a partnership with Easterseals NH to design and build a cutting-edge Military and Veterans Campus. This transformative project will provide comprehensive services and support for military personnel, veterans, and their families, all while boasting a design conceptualized by veterans themselves.
Easterseals NH has a long-standing reputation for its commitment to enhancing the lives of military members, veterans, and their loved ones through a range of programs and services. This new campus will mark a significant expansion of their capabilities, enabling them to offer an even more comprehensive suite of resources designed to address the unique needs of those who have served our nation. The campus will include affordable rental housing apartments, a hub of services, a retreat center, and therapeutic recreation opportunities for military service members, veterans, and their families.
PROCON’s involvement in this endeavor signifies a fusion of architectural innovation and social responsibility. Leveraging its years of experience and expertise in design and construction, PROCON is dedicated to creating a facility that goes beyond functional requirements. The firm’s collaborative approach ensures that the campus will serve as a beacon of hope, inspiration, and support for the military and veteran community.
What sets this project apart is the involvement of veterans themselves in the design and construction process. Easterseals NH has engaged veterans from diverse backgrounds to contribute their insights and ideas, ensuring that the campus not only meets the highest standards of functionality and efficiency but also resonates with the experiences and aspirations of those it aims to serve.
PROCON was founded in 1935 by veteran Blanchard Stebbins, who served in WWI and WWII construction battalions.
The second generation to run PROCON, Herbert Stebbins, was a veteran of WWII. Today, PROCON lead designers and architects of Easterseals NH Military & Veterans Center of Excellence are veterans who are passionate about designing a veteran-centered campus, including:
• Bonita Cook, AIA, LEED AP, design principal at PROCON, who served as a specialist in the Army Reserves; A 63B lightweight vehicle mechanic, is the lead designer who developed the master plan and architectural designs for Easterseals campus.
• Todd Hooper, AIA associate principal at PROCON, served in the Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron and is the project architect of this project. “I am honored to be able to serve those who have served our country.”
• The architectural designer, Gentil Kamanzi, currently serves as a specialist in the Mass. Army National Guard, 182nd Engineer Company, and is developing the working drawings for this project.
In addition, when construction is underway, Tanya Barlow, IT manager who currently serves as a sergeant in the Army Reserves, and Jake Clark, a safety manager who was a senior airman for the New Hampshire Air National Guard as a materials management specialist, will be supporting the successful completion of this center of excellence for Military and Veterans.
“I’m honored to be part of this project and this team,” said Cook. “The military taught me grit, discipline, hard work, and the importance of teamwork. There is a comradery that develops in the military that is unexplainable, but we will do anything for each other. For the people that will live on this campus I hope they find comradery, a sense of belonging and a supportive environment for renewal and growth. For everything I learned and for all who serve I am truly grateful.”
The new Military and Veterans Campus is designed to prioritize accessibility, inclusivity, and a sense of community, providing an environment where military personnel, veterans, and their families can find the support they need to thrive. The campus will house a range of facilities, including:
• Affordable housing: 30 units of permanent affordable rental housing for veterans;
• Hub of services: Co-location of multiple military service organizations to ensure continuum of care for each visitor to the campus;
• Retreat center with meeting and event space: 20 short-term rental bedrooms, some with kitchenettes; and opportunities to hold events/trainings.
• Therapeutic recreation components: Access to the rail trail and Merrimack River; a to-be-built multipurpose building for equine and dog therapy, a rock-climbing wall, ropes course, and more; a military-themed playground; and an outdoor performance stage.
Since 2007, Easterseals NH’s Veterans Count program has provided care to over 9,000 service members, veterans, and their families. With the new Military and Veterans Campus, Easterseals NH will be able to deepen and extend services to the military community.
“We are honored to be a part of this remarkable initiative,” said Jen Stebbins Thomas, managing director of PROCON. “The Military and Veterans Campus represents a true embodiment of PROCON’s values - innovation, collaboration, and making a positive impact on the communities we serve. By partnering with Easterseals NH and engaging veterans in the design process, we are confident that this campus will be a testament to the strength and resilience of our military and veteran community.”
PROCON is proud to support our veterans and to design and build a center of excellence for Easterseals.
“Our family has long supported veterans and military in our community,” said John Stebbins, PROCON managing director. “We have hired many team members who have served and continue to serve our country. We are honored to partner with Easterseals NH to design and build Easterseals NH Military and Veterans Campus in Franklin. Our entire team and veterans are excited to be able to give back to other veterans and the military by designing the best possible facility to support their needs.”