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Blandin Foundation building to get updates

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. —The Blandin Foundation building, which houses the operations of the foundation and hosts more than 1,000 community meetings each year, will be renovated this summer. Between June 28 and September, offices of the foundation temporarily will be relocated to the Market Crossings building at 28 Northwest Fourth Street.

Blandin Foundation, located on the northeast side of the Mississippi River along Highway 169, has been in its current location since 1983 when it was built on the spot previously home to the Downtowner Motel. Other than the addition of a top floor in 1999, the foundation headquarters have not seen significant changes.

This summer, the 80-seat, tiered auditorium in the foundation’s building will be reconstructed so that it is a single level and more useful for the community’s nonprofits. The 4,000-square-foot renovation also will allow updates of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and technology. In keeping with the community’s riverfront planning, the foundation will upgrade and expand its parking and landscaping to the east.

“It’s been nearly 20 years since we have significantly updated this building,” says Kathleen Annette, president and CEO. “Times have changed, technology has advanced, and our building has aged. As stewards of foundation resources, one of which is our building, Blandin trustees have chosen to invest in a few important updates.”

Blandin Foundation has hired Grand Rapids-based JDI Contracts as its owner’s representative and HAWK Construction as its general contractor. The foundation primarily is working with local contractors on the project.

“With the help of Roger Hoyum and Doug Hanson and their teams, the foundation will be fully operational during this renovation,” said Annette. “As always, any community members with questions are encouraged to contact us.”

Phone calls and mail will continue to be received at the foundation’s existing address and phone numbers. Follow construction progress at the foundation’s website and Facebook page.

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