Let the Light In on Children’s Mental Health

Capital Improvements Campaign Funding Request

Physical Structures:  A Place of Hope and Healing

The physical structures that contribute to a sense of order, stability, and consistency in a child’s life are critical to the provision of quality mental health care. It is important to provide a soothing environment where families can feel at home once they have made the difficult decision to reach out for help. This is vital in a world where families delay asking for help with mental health issues due to stigma and the shame that it generates

A mental health facility should be warm and comforting  – “a house that smiles” – with inviting spaces, impactful programs, protective adults, ample flexibility, emergency help when needed, and an overall cultivation of safety and security.

The Guidance Center headquarters, where we offer direct mental health care, is located at 480 Old Westbury Road, Roslyn Heights.  We moved into our beautiful 112-year-old historic home 33 years ago.  Today, it requires renovation to ensure the most welcoming physical environment for the thousands of families that use our services each year.

Let the Light In – Phase I Window Replacement Project

In 2015, we completed our Let the Light In – Phase I Window Replacement Project that entailed replacing 44 windows and renovating portions of the west and south side of our building. We received generous underwriting from Fay J. Lindner Foundation, the Barker Welfare Foundation, the Dormitory authority and the Estate of Roslyn Younger to support the project.

As we continue to be good stewards of our historic building and grounds, we are now poised to enter the next phase in our capital improvements for which we are seeking funding.

Let the Light In – Phase II Window Replacement Project

Let the Light InPhase II Window Replacement Project is focused on supporting our mission as we work to have every child who walks through our doors feel safe and secure while receiving the help and support he or she needs.

The project entails replacing 120 windows in the Guidance Center’s headquarters. Although referred to as a “window replacement,” the work would also include renovations on other essential elements on the exterior of the building.

Our goal is to optimize “sealing the envelope,” including all necessary trim work, pointing at least one of the chimneys that is degrading, replacement of the front shutters and work on the soffits. The dormers will also need work as the flashing is compromised, perhaps hiding unforeseen conditions. The window work would include replacement with custom windows as opposed to stock windows.  This would improve our energy efficiency and help reduce our operating overhead carrying costs.

The work is expected to begin in late winter or early Spring 2018 and is anticipated to last 16 weeks. Labor, materials, architectural/engineering costs, bonds, permits, fees, possible abatement costs and a 10% contingency amount (customary for renovations) is estimated at $1.2 million, taking into consideration unforeseen issues that will need to be addressed.

This work is a long time coming and was initially recommended some 15 years ago as part of a reserve study done by Fusion Architecture. With Phase I from that plan complete, Phase II is required now. The consequences of not doing the work will be higher costs for a piecemeal approach as the building envelope further deteriorates with age. Fifty-three staff members occupy this building where we house direct mental health services as well as administrative functions.

Our Goals for Let the Light In – Phase II Window Replacement Project

  • Provide a Welcoming, Stigma-Free Environment for our clients
  • Improve Energy Efficiency
  • Decrease the overhead of the agency’s operating budget by reducing utility costs

To make a contribution to the Let the Light In campaign, click here