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Brien Center to Use $3 Million MassDevelopment Bond to Renovate Former Church for Programs, Offices

July 21, 2010

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
Derek Kresiak, The Brien Center, 413-629-1260

MassDevelopment has issued a $3 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Inc., the primary provider in Berkshire County for people dealing with mental health and substance abuse problems. The organization plans to use bond proceeds to purchase and renovate the former Mount Carmel Church, rectory, parish center, and religious center, relocating several services and offices to the new facility. Berkshire Bank purchased the bonds.

“With critically-needed renovations, The Brien Center will have enhanced capacity to carry out its vital mission of addressing mental health and substance abuse issues,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. “This financing will help rehabilitate a vacated church and provide a tranquil setting for The Brien Center's clients, and we're pleased the Agency can support this important Berkshire County service provider.”

The Brien Center plans to relocate several programs to the site by spring 2011. Those programs include an Adult Day Health Program, A Substance Abuse Day Treatment Center, a Children's Behavioral Health Initiative, Community Based Flexible Supports and Administrative Offices. The first phase of renovations covers the rectory, parish hall, convent, and school, totaling 40,000 square feet. Renovations to the church, which closed in 2008, will occur in the second phase. Upon completion, the building will host a training institute.

“We are pleased with our relationship with MassDevelopment and are very grateful for the support of their agency,” said The Brien Center CEO Catherine Doherty. “The new Brien Center Campus will allow us to finally have a centralized presence within the community. Ultimately, this move will provide better access and care for those who need us the most, the residents of Berkshire County.”

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.