Shelby County Community Service (SCCS) is in the process of expanding their Developmental Training section with a new wing. The new addition, which will have 7,600 square feet, will be called the Early Intervention Center for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

SCCS Executive Director Dick Gloede said the new addition is necessary to continue services to clients who have special needs in the Developmental Training (DT) unit.

“This expansion will enable us to enhance our services to those people we are currently serving,” Gloede said. “Many of our consumers are more disabled than what they were historically.”

Gloede went on to say SCCS has had to adjust their day programing and services in DT to accommodate people that may be quadriplegic or physically handicapped, but have more behavioral outcome problems than in the past.

“This (new wing) will enable us to provide more comprehensive services to the people we presently serve and address our waiting list,” continued Gloede.

Gloede said this new addition will have several innovative features that will make the DT staff’s job more efficient and provide better services to the clients.

“The staff of the DT unit designed the building and they deserve the credit.”

The DT Director Karen Mulholland and her staff worked closely with the architect on the design plans of the building.

“We are planning and projecting what our needs will be for the future, not just now,” said Mulholland.

She said the biggest advantage of the new wing is the size.

“There will be more space for the clients,” continued Mulholland. “The hallways will be larger, so there is less congestion for those using wheelchairs and walkers.”

The classrooms will be larger, and there will be an area for fitness. The new wing will have a fully functioning kitchen, a laundry room, and much needed restrooms.

Mulholland talked about the innovative features such as a overhead lift device in the personal care room. She said some of the people attending the DT program need more assistance with personal care and will have an easier transfer in the restroom.

She said the aesthetic features of the new wing will also be great for the clients in the program. For instance the lunchroom has a sun room and an adjoining patio that looks out at a beautiful recreation area.

The new wing will be connected to the existing DT wing which will free up much of the space in the existing wing.

“For instance the old senior room that we are relocating can now be used for the clients to work in,” Mulholland said. “We will continue to have the recreation room but now it can just be used for recreation and not have to serve double-duty as a work or exercise room.”

Other points of the new wing include windows that are two foot from the floor so that people using wheelchairs can easily look out of the windows. The large windows on the south and west side will bring in lots of natural light.

Gloede said the new wing will be state-of-the-art in conservation and “green” features.

“We will have geo-thermo with radiant floor heat,” Gloede said. “This wing will have passive solar heat as well.”

Gloede said the radiant floor heat is more comfortable. He said all the eaves are designed to a certain length and pitch to help shade the area in the summer and then as the sun sets in the winter the sun will help heat the area. The windows will have triple-pane glass with argon gas inside the panes.

“The windows have fiberglass frames which is the strongest frame you can get with styrofoam on the inside which will make this an air-tight building,” said Gloede.

He said there is a conduit for a wind generator, however, cost wise that will come later. Also included is a natural gas standby generator and a solar hot water heater. The walls will be 6 inches of styrofoam which will be R-36 and the roof will come in panels that have an R-40 value. (R-value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it.)

Gloede said the building will also save energy by not having studs. The walls were set in place by a crane.

Gloede said initially the construction costs are higher by installing features that make the wing greener but in the long run these features will pay for themselves.

“The expense we have up front will be more than recovered by year seven,” Gloede said.

Gloede said this new wing is only possible because the agency has been planning and saving for this expansion for eight years.

“We have set aside a capital fund budget that is helped in part by the 708 Mental Health Board and in part by our corporate board.”

Gloede went on to say that by running a social agency with stringent business principles they have been able to set funds aside for this new addition.

“Our outside business is the one that has helped keep the agency running and enabled us to build this addition. As the state goes to fees for service we had to put ourselves in the best position to be able to compete for the business and provide a quality service.”

Mulholland said this new addition is “a dream come true” for the DT staff.

“This is what the people I work with and myself have wanted for this population. A facility where clients can work towards their goals with top notch equipment and beautiful surroundings.”

She went on to say when she first started working for SCCS in the DT Program (28 years ago) there were only 15 DT clients and they were very mobile and didn’t have as many challenges as the present population. She said that most of those clients that were here when she started are now there as seniors. She said the DT program now has 50 clients with a waiting list of people wanting services.

“Now we need more special facilities. This new facility is directly due to the foresight of our board and our Executive Director,” said Mulholland

Gloede said through the forward thinking of SCCS’s Board they have put their agency in a unique position.

“Shelby County Community Services is one of the first entities to have both a state commodity contract, a fortune 500 contract (International Paper Company) and a social service contract with the State of Illinois.”

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