USDA to fund renovation at the Rose Haven Center

Published 4:48 pm Monday, June 7, 2021

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From the Pamlico Rose Institute

Pamlico Rose Institute (PRI) announces a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA) grant to help renovate the existing barn at Rose Haven Center of Healing into a community center. The USDA grants will contribute $99,400 toward the estimated $180,000 renovation cost. Included in the scope of the grant is the cost of an HVAC for the almost completed renovation of the Center’s 1892 residence. 

A private donation of $25,000 in the name of the A.T. Gurkin Family has already been given toward this project. 

Pamlico Rose Institute and the USDA will hold a joint press event open to the public on Thursday, June 10 at 1 p.m. at Rose Haven Center of Healing, located at 219 E. Third St. in Washington. 

“The barn is one of critical components of the Center, along with the Haven House and the Betty Sands Memorial gardens; being able to add the HVAC to the residence provides additional benefit,” said PRI community resource associate Kaitlyn O’Donnell.

PRI’s primary mission is to advance wellness and resilience-building programs for women Veterans dealing with the effects of trauma and other experiences from their military career. This effort is part of a community-based prevention strategy that can also benefit other Veterans and members of the local community.

“Our concept of wellness sits at the intersection of nature, creative expression, movement, and community-building. Our idea of turning the barn into a community center provides added reach to promote healthy living in women Veterans and other at-risk populations,” said PRI CEO Robert Greene Sands.

The USDA, in its outreach of the grant award, wrote that the barn renovation will provide the “perfect space to house community events and workshops including woodworking, visual arts and crafts, as well as provide space for meditative and kinetic courses such as yoga.” 

“The vision of renovating the existing onsite barn into an indoor/outdoor support type space would be a valuable complement to the developing facilities…and affords the overall property with a complimentary qualitative aesthetic appeal,” said Project architect Albrecht McLawhorn, President of Greenville-based Intrepid Architecture.

Rose Haven is located in Washington’s historic district and the property’s past association with Washington’s history is considered significant. The existing pole barn was built in 1961, replacing the original barn built in 1934, and for over four decades was the workplace of a local blacksmith. 

“The barn has stood strong in the face of decades of hurricanes and flooding, and with minor structural changes, will last another few decades,” Sands said. “It is the perfect metaphor for our mission. Along with the gardens and Haven House renovation, the barn will continue to add to the beauty and stability of the neighborhood.”