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Hambey Construction is scheduled to start work this year on the Home of Hope Academy.
Rendering provided by Ozarks Teen Challenge
Hambey Construction is scheduled to start work this year on the Home of Hope Academy.

Ozarks Teen Challenge to begin campus expansion

Posted online

Faith-based nonprofit Ozarks Teen Challenge is ready to begin construction on its expanded campus project after raising more than $1 million in funds over a five-year period.

Branson West-based Ozarks Teen Challenge, which helps troubled teens transition into society, currently has its academic spaces, dormitory, chapel and offices all in one building, said Executive Director Michael Buttacy. The goal of the nonprofit's capital campaign is to expand to four buildings, including a dorm that would double capacity.

Buttacy said the organization hired Hambey Construction LLC as general contractor and Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective as architect for its new Home of Hope Academy, the first in the series of new construction projects planned at Ozarks Teen Challenge's Branson West campus.

A $159,000 recent donation from the Cook Family Foundation completed the matching $207,000 portion needed to receive a $168,000 grant from the Mabee Foundation in April, he said. The latest funding paved the way for the academic building.

"We've got about 200 acres," Buttacy said. "We are finally developing them and have the funds to develop them."

Hambey Construction is scheduled to start the academic project this year.

Beyond the new academic building, Ozarks Teen Challenge already paid $150,000 to have a sewer line connected to campus, Buttacy said. He said the full campus expansion project relies on additional funding.

"If someone wants to give us $2.5 million, we'll break ground tomorrow," he said. "We're trying to do this systematically, and we want to do it in cash."

Ozarks Teen Challenge has an operational budget of $1.2 million, with 18 full- and part-time employees and seven contracted workers, he said.

Teens come into the more than yearlong program for a variety of reasons, he said, including drug and disciplinary issues. Ozarks Teen Challenge, which was founded in 2007, serves around 30 kids at one time.

"Every kid has dreams, and we want to get those back in focus for them," Buttacy said. "Your circumstances can be stacked against you. That doesn't mean you just quit."

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