Council of Churches of the Ozarks Inc. this morning announced it would consolidate its operations into a former SRC Holdings Corp. building.
A news conference at the building, 3055 E. Division St., simultaneously served as the official launch for Levell Up, a $6.2 million capital campaign named in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Dorsey Levell, who founded CCO and served as its CEO for 30 years.
"The benefit to our neighbors in need will be immediate," said CEO Jaimie Trussell. "We are going to 'Levell Up’ to serve our community."
Trussell said CCO is slated to close on the purchase of the 57,000-square-foot building on Nov. 1 for "under market value." She declined to disclose financial terms.
CCO, a "best-kept secret" that currently operates at Chestnut Expressway and Glenstone Avenue and various other properties citywide, is moving all of its programs to the former SRC building, Trussell said. The nonprofit's outreach services include the Ambassadors for Children foster care outreach, Crosslines food pantry, Connections home repair service and Safe to Sleep women’s shelter.
Trussell said it is CCO's desire to move beyond a "secret" resource for the community and to become more well recognized. Last year, the organization served 26,000 families, but with operations that are spread out, it can be difficult to serve them efficiently, she added.
"For those families, we have to do better," Trussell said.
CCO plans to renovate the Division Street building to suit its needs, she said, noting construction should start next month and that the building increases the nonprofit's warehouse space by five times.
Ross Construction Group LLC is serving as general contractor for the project designed by Paragon Architecture LLC, Trussell said, noting the target for relocating into the building is a year out.
Speaking at the news conference, SRC CEO Jack Stack said Trussell's persistence and passion in developing CCO's future led the business to get involved as a partner in the project.
"She knew exactly what she wanted. She constantly referred to this facility. There was nothing that was really going to stop her," Stack said. "It's going to spill over in terms of how this thing is going to develop."
While this morning was the official debut of the Levell Up campaign, the nonprofit already is well on its way toward the $6.2 million goal. With $2.4 million to go, Trussell said the campaign has been supported by estate gifts and a first for the nonprofit: six-figure gifts from living donors.
Levell Up is co-chaired by CCO board member Jim Anderson and banker Bob Hammerschmidt.
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