After more than half a century, the LISTEN Center will launch a new era when it hosts a groundbreaking ceremony for its first-ever new building. The groundbreaking is set for Thursday, June 10, 4 p.m. at 2100 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks. The public is invited.
With construction expected to be completed in mid-2022, the new LISTEN building will have enough space to house all of LISTEN’s programs under one roof for the first time in years. There will also be additional space on the second floor for one or more tenants.
“LISTEN is excited to be a part of the continual growth, commercial renewal and development that is bringing value to our city,” said Christy Potts, LISTEN Executive Director. “This new building not only replaces an inaccessible old building that was on the property, but it will raise the standard for accessibility for everyone who uses our program services and our Drop In Community Center. Our goal is to build a space that is accessible and user-friendly for people choosing our services and our staff that help them.”
“With our programs growing and adding residential and in home support in the last 18 months to LISTEN services’ this building is opening a new future for us that is focused on the needs of the people we are supporting,” said Nancy McKay, Programs Services Director. “It pioneers our potential for growth in our program services. With the new building, the skies the limit on what else we may be able to add to benefit our community.”
“A dream is a wish your heart makes and the Listen Drop In Center has been a part of helping people make their dreams happen for the past 50 years,” said Carla Tice, Drop In Program Director. “With this new building more dreams for more people will be possible. With state-of-the-art technology, universal design, and a culture that supports one another, we will have 50 more years of dreams come true.”
LISTEN has partnered with Widseth and Community Contractors for design and construction of the building.
The LISTEN Center’s roots date back to 1970, when a program started in Grand Forks churches. It grew into S.M.I.LE. – St. Mary’s Is Love Exceptional – in 1972 and then combined with a Youth Arc program in 1974 to become Love Is Sharing the Exceptional Needs – L.I.S.T.E.N. LISTEN has evolved over the years, but its mission has remained the same: to provide quality services designed to help people with intellectual disabilities live as independently as possible.