GRAND RAPIDS — D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s broke ground today on what will be a $10 million multipurpose facility near the organization’s 25-acre Knapp Campus on the northeast side of Grand Rapids.
The new facility is expected to be complete in late 2022 and will integrate all of DABSJ’s children and family services under one roof. The organization stated that a more efficient use of employee time, while improving collaborations across the organization, is expected to result in better outcomes for the children and families that DABSJ serves.
Consolidating services will also save the organization an estimated $2 million over the next two decades.
Integrated Architecture LLC is serving as the project architect. Erhardt Construction Co. will serve as the general contractor for the project.
The integrated campus will feature larger programming space, administrative offices and educational and wellness space for the 7,000 children and families DABSJ serves on average every year. The new structure will provide critical operating space, a centralized medical clinic and classrooms equipped with upgraded utility systems that will drive further cost savings for DABSJ.
D.A. Blodgett for Children and St. John’s Home merged in 2010, forming DABSJ. The organization supports children and families with a range of needs through mentoring, behavioral health, family preservation, foster care, adoption and residential treatment.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for the community to help build a strong network of support for children and families that are struggling,” Barb Weaver, marketing manager for DABSJ, said in a statement. “Consolidating all services helps the organization become more effective and efficient in caring for kids. We know that these children and our community will thrive over time.”
The Together for Kids campaign launched in 2018 to fund the new multipurpose facility, and has raised more than $9.8 million toward the campaign’s $10 million goal. Nearly 500 community donors, local businesses and foundations have contributed to the funding campaign.
“Demand for our programs is increasing,” said Beverly Grant, who serves as a community volunteer at DABSJ and also is one of the chairs for Together for Kids. “Unfortunately, neglect and abuse of children in Kent County continues, and we need to provide an exceptional safe haven for youth in our area as we remain strong advocates for their care.”
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