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September 11, 2009 permalink
Children's aid has a new palace, this time it is 23,000 square feet for Hastings CAS in Belleville. It continues the pattern that children's aid societies with high levels of family complaints move into luxurious new quarters. Enhanced reimbursement revenues from unnecessary apprehensions help justify the new construction.
New CAS building opens its doors
Posted By Steve Pettibone, Posted September 10, 2009
After nearly a decade of planning and nearly two years of construction, the new Hastings Children’s Aid Society building on Dundas Street West has officially opened its doors.
The grand opening of the new 23,000-square-foot facility Thursday marks the completion of a vision first established in the early part of the decade by the organization’s board of directors and executive director Len Kennedy. Kennedy said several features of the new building will help the organization offer stronger services to local families in need of its assistance.
“We now work in a strength-based approach, where we’re trying to identify with families areas where we can work together with them to help them move through a host of issues,” he told The Intelligencer at Thursday’s opening. “So this [building] is, for example, with the visiting suites, a space that allows us to facilitate those family visits and help us be confident in their ability to care for their children.”
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Leona Dombrowsky praised the staff, board and volunteers at the society for their dedication to making the new facility a reality.
“We are blessed to have the commitment of the volunteers on the board and those people who are hired at the society — who are committed to serving the needs of families, and particularly children who are in situations of difficulty,” she said. “There have been people who have been committed to this work for decades now.”
In his remarks, Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte mentioned some of the complex social and economic issues facing some local families. Children’s Aid, he said, provides help to the sections of society most in need.
“In this time and age, we have to be cognizant of the people who are the most vulnerable,” he said.
Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock said the partnership between Children’s Aid, and the communities it serves continues to grow, and noted the importance of this working relationship.
“It’s become a relationship that we all can be proud of,” he said. “It may seem trite to say it takes a village to raise a child, but it actually does.”
The local CAS has about 200 employees and Kennedy said approximately 135 of them will work out of the new building. The older facility will continue to be used, giving the organization 50,000 square feet of space at its disposal. It’s part of a vision that Kennedy says continues to expand.
“We’ve been around for 102 years, and the work is never done,” he said.
The CAS spent more than $6.25 million to construct the new 21,000-square-foot building and carry out renovations at its two other buildings located on either side of the new structure. To the east, the original building continues to serve as office and resource space and a residential facility is located to the west of the new structure.
The new building had been plagued with scheduling delays, its opening having been put off several times from spring, to early summer to, finally, this week.
Source: Belleville Intelligencer