Outstanding Projects Earn Merit Awards
On Wednesday evening, June 22, three outstanding projects were recognized and honored with 2016 Plan NH Merit Awards.

Selected from nominations submitted, three award recipients were chosen for their reflection of Plan NH’s mission by a jury of Plan NH members. The jury additionally considered the projects’ incorporation of Smart Growth principles, social responsibility, and/or creative cooperation and collaboration with its community:
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3SHonorable Mention:  3S Artspace, Portsmouth

Jury comments:  “A great adaptive re-use project, with a different approach to the “mixed-use” concept.”  “The entire project involved a great deal of social collaboration.”

This project has turned a former manufacturing site into New Hampshire’s first non-profit, multi-disciplinary art space, containing a performance space, an art gallery, & a farm-to-table restaurant.  3S Artspace provides an outdoor social area within an urban environment. Its evening usage gives an after-hours vibrancy that has increased safety to this part of the North End of Portsmouth’s Historic District.

Owner:  3S Artspace.  Key players:  McHenry Architecture, Summit Engineering, Terrafirma Landscape Architecture and Wright-Ryan Construction.

Photo:  Clear Eye Photo

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Univeristy Edge After from RoadwayMerit Award:  University Edge, Durham

 Jury Comments: “A truly impressive example of how redevelopment in our communities should be happening.” “The functionality of this project is what stands out, and it has ‘set the bar’.”

University Edge successfully provides Off-Campus UNH housing with 52 full-amenity apartments (88 beds) and also 8800 sqft of commercial space – all while maintaining the integrity of the compact, historic neighborhood where it is built. The owner chooses to preserve and restore two old buildings, resulting in a seamless flow between the old and new along the street. These considerations, along with the incorporation of trees and architectural details, maintain the integrity of “traditional Durham.”

The project is designed to encourage and support walking and bicycling to and from campus, underscored by providing only four parking spaces. Environmental integrity is supported though efforts such as rain gardens and permeable pavers.

Owner:  Orion Student Housing.  Key players:  Allen & Major, Fulcrum Associates, NE Earth Mechanics, Wozney Barbar & Associates, and The Dolben Company.
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 Honor Award:  Family Place Resource Center and Shelter, Manchester
Family Place completed

Jury Comments: “This is a shining star in a tough neighborhood – both in reality and metaphorically.”  “FIT is not only talking about what we don’t want to talk about, they are doing something about it.”

Forty-three percent of New Hampshire’s homeless populations are families. Families in Transition (FIT) has been providing emergency, transitional and permanent housing for homeless and low-income families in Manchester, Concord and Dover for 20 years. FIT has purchased the former Manchester Community Resource Center of Lake Avenue to develop their new Center.

The Center houses 11 families, provides educational, employment and clinical services to support homeless and low-income populations within the community. FIT invites numerous partners to use the facility to provide on-site services to address the unique circumstances of each client.Family Place in context

The Center is accessible by foot, bicycle and by multiple bus routes to and from Manchester.  The Lake Avenue side reflects the urban character of the street while the back of the building, using clapboards, reflects residential character. Donations for construction exceeded $2 million. Today, 40 volunteers regularly provide meals and assist programs, preschool and more. This volunteerism “highlights how this project has successfully convened Manchester residents around the issue of homelessness and engaged residents in being part of the solution.”

Congratulations to all 2016 Plan NH Merit Award Recipients!

To see the 2016 Plan NH Merit Awards Nomination Application Click HERE.
For questions about the selection process or the Merit Awards Program, email [email protected]

Want to be part of the Merit Awards Selection Committee?
Email Bill Jean, Program Chair, [email protected]