ST. ALBANS — Northwestern Counseling & Support Services (NCSS) may lease the first floor of the St. Albans House on Lake Street.
NCSS Executive Director Ted Mabel confirmed the non-profit is in discussions with Jim Cameron, the building’s owner, to lease space for as many as 30 staff members.
Staff working from the building primarily would be from the adolescent team, many of whom work closely with the Dept. of Children and Families (DCF), which will relocate to Federal Street in 2015.
“Most of them are case manager who are out in the field,” Mabel said of the staff potentially assigned to the St. Albans House.
NCSS is also discussing with Cameron the possibility of having a youth center in the building. “It’ll have to be closely managed,” said Mabel of that prospects.
The preliminary discussions have included creation of a conference room Mabel said would likely be utilized by DCF staff as well as NCSS.
Space is tight at the NCSS building on Fisher Pond Road with about 200 staff who work from laptops and lack office space. “We’ve had literally no room for growth,” said Mabel.
Although NCSS has one building lot left on its complex, “we can’t build because we don’t have a water allocation,” said Mabel.
The NCSS complex is in St. Albans Town and in April 2011 the St. Albans City Council placed a moratorium on the sale of water and wastewater allocations outside the city limits. The moratorium stems from a long running legal dispute between the municipalities over purchase of allocations, which now awaits a judge’s decision.
“We see this as an interim step,” said Mabel of the move downtown
In addition, NCSS is excited to be part of the renovation of the historic St. Albans House, he said.
The original wooden building was constructed some time in the 1840s, with multiple additions made over the next several decades. Some of the Confederate raiders who robbed St. Albans banks in the northernmost land action of the Civil War were lodgers at the St. Albans House prior to the event that is now 150 years ago.
Cameron purchased the building in September 2011 and began renovations, drawing on historic tax credits to help pay for the work.
Cameron had previously announced that the second floor had been leased to a financial firm looking to expand. The third and fourth floors have upscale apartments.