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Construction nears finish for Boys & Girls Town

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by Clarissa A. French

SBJ Staff

The end is is sight for Boys & Girls Town of Missouri's Springfield expansion project.

Members of the local media got a sneak peak at the new residential, recreational and worship facilities under construction on the Boys & Girls Town campus at the Hard Hat Picnic June 9.

The construction project encompasses four new residential cottages, a new gym/recreation complex, a new chapel and renovation of the existing facility at 1212 W. Lombard for education, social services, emergency shelter and administration centers.

The new structures and renovation are financed through Boys & Girls Town's Remember the Future Campaign.

In terms of the new cottages, one of the biggest advantages will be privacy.

Residents who now must live two to a room will get their own bedrooms. Each cottage features a great room, a kitchen area for snacks and weekend meals (daily meals will still be in the dining hall), a washer and dryer, study area, staff bathroom, residents' bathroom, private counseling/meeting room, security system and a fully equipped electronic control room, where the cottage's audio/video surveillance systems will be monitored.

The new chapel features large windows and exposed beams, while the recreation hall offers basketball and volleyball courts, a ceramics area, swimming pool, green space for outdoor activities and offices for two recreational therapists.

DeWitt & Associates is the construction manager on the project, which was designed by the architectural firm of JPS & Associates.

The existing Boys & Girls Town residential facility was built in 1963 as the Springfield Children's Home to house very young orphans and foster children.

The ages, and needs, of the children served by the facility have changed drastically in the last three decades, according to Ken Coleman, residential director of the Springfield campus. The new facilities are a response to those changes. Coleman said he hopes construction will be complete by September.

Boys & Girls Town is a psychiatric treatment facility for children and their families, providing residential, day treatment and outreach services through an array of professionals from registered nurses, to psychiatrists and psychologists, to specialized treatment therapists.

Boys & Girls Town provides assistance to children and families who have suffered because of physical, emotional or sexual abuse; drug addiction or alcoholism; depression; conduct disorders; suicidal tendencies; neglect; abandonment; learning disabilities; aggression towards oneself and others; and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

For more information about Boys & Girls Town, contact Trudy Pischer, assistant director of development, at 869-0270.

PHOTO CAPTION:

Stonework is under way on Boys & Girls Town's new gymnasium (above) which will be echoed on the exterior of the nearby chapel (below).[[In-content Ad]]

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