Project Background

During Covid, the Upper Valley Community Grange faced numerous challenges as the shut-down meant the end of pancake breakfasts, in-person meetings, and other projects. As a fraternal organization, the Grange is unable to receive donations and their only source of funding had been through pancake breakfast fundraisers and dues. This meant that funding to maintain the Grange Hall disappeared.

In 2023, a small group, concerned by the deterioration of the building, reached out to Upper Valley Community Grange members to see what could be done. Grange leadership discussed the idea of turning over the building to a nonprofit organization that would be able to renovate and maintain the building as a community center in the spirit of the Grange’s community focus and allow for the Grange to hold meetings in perpetuity. Other Vermont Granges (such as Broad Brook in Guildford) have made this transfer successfully with Grange buildings now serving as vibrant community spaces.

In response, the Norwich Community Collaborative was formed as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to take on the building and work with the community to create a space that is responsive to community needs. Founding Board members are: Jess Phelps, President; Emily Myers, Wendy Thompson, and Andy Williams. Since then, we have expanded the Board, taken ownership of the building, conducted community visioning, and begun working with Studio Nexus on design.