Spokane Journal of Business

Bouten Construction to build new Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

Crisis center hopes to open larger facility in late 2020

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The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has named Spokane-based Bouten Construction Co. as the contractor for the crisis nursery’s new 30,000-square-foot facility at 2230 E. Sprague, noting the construction company’s past projects with NAC Architecture, the organization’s design firm.

“The really beneficial thing of having Bouten selected now is that they will work with NAC Architecture to create a design that is buildable and affordable,” says executive director Amy Knapton Vega. 

While the project is currently in the design phase, Vega says she expects that to be completed around late August and estimates construction will begin this September.

If everything goes well, Vega says, the crisis nursery will be able to move into its new home in the first quarter of 2020. 

As previously reported in the Journal, the organization bought the 1.6-acre East Sprague Avenue site from Zales Discount LLC for $1.3 million last fall. The site had been occupied by a 16,900-sqare foot commercial structure, which recently was demolished to make room for the project. That building originally was a Safeway supermarket and more recently housed a bingo hall. 

Because the project is still in the early stages of design, the organization doesn’t yet have a figure for how much the building itself will cost.

“Our hope is that when we work with Bouten and NAC that they will be able to work together to bring the cost down for us,” says Vanessa Behan Development Director Keith O’Brien. 

Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery provides short-term, 24-hour care to children up to 6 years old, as well as parent education, crisis counseling, and basic childcare items such as diapers and formula. The Spokane nonprofit was founded in 1987 in memory of Vanessa Behan, who died from child abuse injuries at the age of 2. 

The organization currently occupies a 12,000-square-foot building at 1004 E. Eighth.

“We’ve been turning away thousands of kids a year because we really don’t have the space,” Vega says. She estimates the organization turned away 2,500 children last year due to lack of space.

Virginia Thomas
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