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 first-of-its-kind veteran-centered campus, including:
- Bonita Cook, AIA, LEED AP, Design Principal at PROCON, who served as a Specialist in the Army Reserves 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.
- The Architectural Designer, Gentil Kamanzi, currently serves as a Specialist in the Massachusetts 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 the campus.
“I’m honored to be part of this project and this team,” Cook said. “The military taught me grit, discipline, hard work, and the importance of teamwork. There is a camaraderie 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 camaraderie, a sense of belonging, and a supportive environment for renewal and growth."
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 multipurpose building for equine and dog therapy, a rock-climbing wall, ropes course, and more; a military-themed playground; and an outdoor performance stage