Officials gather for Girls Inc. ribbon cutting after $2 million in renovations

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart Mark Nash, of Nash Construction, and Girls Inc. of New Hampshire CEO Cathy Duffy Cullity welcome the community to the newly-renovated Nashua center by cutting the ribbon at Tuesday’s ceremony. Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, second from left, and Governor Chris Sununu, far right, were on hand for the grand re-opening event.

NASHUA – After a year-long, $2 million renovation, Girls Inc. of New Hampshire marked the official grand re-opening of its Nashua center with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday.

The renovations included updates to the gymnasium, kitchen and playground. A new computer cafe, library and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lab were built to give girls hands-on learning opportunities, as well.

“I’ve been waiting years for this,” said CEO of Girls Inc. of New Hampshire Cathy Duffy Cullity. She’s had this vision for 20 years, and now it’s become a reality she added.

The event began at 4 p.m. at the organization’s 27 Burke St. facility with a handful of officials in attendance, including New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, Co-Chair of Girls Inc. of New Hampshire capital campaign committee Maurice Arel, CEO of Girls Inc. of New Hampshire Cathy Duffy Cullity and Girls Inc. of New Hampshire ‘Girl of the Year,’ Nashuan Jaihliani Ortiz.

They and others gathered in the lobby in front of a red ribbon as Mark Nash from Nash Construction and Duffy Cullity cut the ribbon while standing in between Donchess and Sununu.

After people counted down and the ribbon had been cut, officials then took turns providing remarks to those in attendance, individually taking the opportunity

to thank those who helped to make this modernized center

come to life.

“I’d like to thank everyone very much,” Arel said. “All of us thank the girls of Girls Inc.”

He said that they’re slightly over budget, with a lot of the expenses being soft costs. Right now, they’re about $100,000 short, but Sununu donated $1,000 at the event to help meet that deficit.

“This place is awesome. I was here four months ago during the craziness, and they’ve done a tremendous job,” Sununu said.

He said whether at the state level or by organizations like this one, it’s about focusing on the individual and what we’re doing to provide equal opportunities.

In reference to providing those equal opportunities Sununu said, “This organization does that and is knocking it out of the park.”

“They’ve been here for about 40 years and their mission is critical to empowering girls to succeed and reach their full potential,” Donchess added.

Ortiz went on to speak, talking about how she’s been coming to the center for five years and how it has impacted her life.

“It’s a home for me and many other girls,” Ortiz said.

After the general remarks, attendees went on a tour of the facility.

“This is a community building, and our goal is to serve as many girls as possible. We encourage those who’ve never tried us to visit. Right now, I’m feeling overwhelming gratitude,” Duffy Cullity said.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.