NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION GROUP TO HELP BUILD NEW NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS FOR NONPROFIT THAT SUPPORTS VETERANS THROUGH SERVICE DOG TRAINING
Volunteer Contractors to Renovate Historic Barn to Serve as Office, Training and Overnight Space for Warrior Canine Connection as Part of the AGC Charities-Autodesk Centennial Operation Opening Doors Effort
Construction charity organization AGC Charities, Inc. will partner with volunteer construction firms from across the country to help build a new national headquarters for Warrior Canine Connection, a not-for-profit that provides therapy and support for veterans by training and placement of service dogs. As part of the charitable organization’s centennial AGC Charities-Autodesk Operation Opening Doors effort, the group will renovate a historic barn in Boyds, Maryland to provide office, training and overnight space for the veterans-focused group.
“It is hard to think of a more worthwhile program to select as our most ambitious project yet,” said Scott Williams, president of Springfield, Ore.-based Hamilton Construction Company and the chairman of AGC Charities. “Even as we celebrate our association’s past, we will be making history with this project over the coming months.”
Warrior Canine Connection works with service members with invisible wounds like post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). By teaching these individuals how to train service dogs for fellow veterans, Warrior Canine Connection provides a non-pharmaceutical intervention that mitigates the symptoms of PTS and TBI. The group recently received a 25-year lease from the state of Maryland for a historic farm in Seneca Creek State Park that will serve as the group’s new national “Healing Quarters.”
AGC Charities will help Warrior Canine Connection renovate an historic dairy barn on the farm site. As part of that effort, the group will preserve much of the 1930s-era structure while building modern office, meeting and training space. The construction charity will also build overnight space on the barn’s second floor for trainers and veterans who are about to receive their service dogs. All told, AGC Charities expects to provide over $3 million worth of work to the barn.
“This is a great opportunity for contractors to use their skills to give back to those who have sacrificed on our behalf,” said Russ Alcorn, principal with Alcorn & Associates, who is overseeing the project on AGC Charities behalf. “These veterans are doing their part, now we have to do our part to help them.”
A number of construction firms have already been involved with preparing the designs and planning for the renovation project. Firms already involved include Autodesk; CADD Microsystems; Concepts in Cost; Crosby Group; ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC; HGA Architects and Engineers; Macris, Hendricks & Glasscock, P.A.; Rosendin Electric; Schmid & Associates, PC; Southland Industries as well as Alcorn & Associates.
Williams said the AGC Charities group is currently working to recruit other member firms to donate construction services, materials and money to help renovate the historic barn. He said the plan was to finish work on the site in advance of the 2018 Centennial for the Associated General Contractors of America. He added that the group held previous national Operation Opening Doors projects in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Orlando, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Juan and San Antonio.