On Thursday, Nov. 16, GRACE held a ground breaking ceremony for its new expanded facility at 837 E. Walnut St. in Grapevine.
Directly next door to GRACE's existing building off Walnut Street sits a former church building that is a mirror image of GRACE's facility. This former church building and property has been secured by GRACE, and staffers plan to construct an office facility in the center of the currently empty lot to merge the two buildings together into one cohesive site. The project is called Rooted in GRACE.
"Thirty years ago our founders envisioned a single location, where individuals in need could go for relief," Bree Vopelak of the GRACE board of directors said. "After 30 years of service and piecing together locations for services, our facilities are worn and efficiencies are stretched. Rooted in GRACE was conceived to return to the original vision of our founders and focus on re-energizing our physical plant to support GRACE clients present and future."
She said with the project comes a re-establishment of a one-stop shop for GRACE services.
Phase 1 of the project includes securing the property next door and conducting a fundraising campaign for the acquisition and renovation expenses. Officials said this has taken about two years, but it has been done. Now staff members are working to renovate the mirror image building and construct a connector office between the two existing buildings. From there, GRACE client services, the clothing room, the administrative offices and community rooms will all be relocated to the complex, and the food pantry and clinic will be renovated and improved. The final step of Phase 1 includes adding collaboration offices and room for expanded services.
Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in 2018. Phase 2 will begin afterward to redesign the layout of the existing building, construct a warehouse north of the existing parking lot for rotating inventory and seasonal storage, and reconfigure the parking lot for staff and volunteer parking, in-out donor traffic and vendor trailer parking.
The cost for the whole project is estimated at $3.5 million.
"This is just the beginning," Vice President of Capital Campaign Randy Robbins said. "There’s an entire new phase of this campaign that’s going to start now."