A $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will help the Emory Valley CenterÂ build a new facility, a press release said.
The new building will be constructed next to the EVCâ€™s current administration office on Emory Valley Road in Oak Ridge.
The funding for the first phase of the project includes design and architectural fees as well as some initial construction costs, the press release said. Site work will include grading, tree and stump removal, fencing, and environmental protections such as settling basins.
The initialÂ infrastructure work includes installation of underground utilities such as water, sewer, electrical, and telecommunication lines, the press release said.
Many of theÂ Emory Valley Center’s vital programs are housed in the county-ownedÂ Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center building across the street from the EVC administration offices. ButÂ Anderson County officials plan to transfer that building to the city of Oak Ridge on Dec. 31, 2014.
And, due to its age and high cost of maintenance, the city plans to tear down the building, which has been EVC’sÂ center for educational, vocational, and rehabilitation programs for the disabled for 57 years,Â the press release said.
It said the Anderson CountyÂ Commission gave $160,000 to buy a lot for the EVC expansion in 2009.
The EVC was recommended for the ARC grant award earlier this year by Gov. Bill Haslam. Local, state, and federal officials, as well as business executives, supported the application, the release said.
There have been additional company and individual donations of more than $200,000, it said.
â€œWe are committed to rebuilding and have already raised almost two-thirds of the money in donations and pledges needed for the building,” saidÂ Gene Caldwell, co-chair of the EVC Capital Campaign. “Our focus now is on raising the last of the funds needed for construction and the funding for the educational and training equipment that is essential for our clientele to have meaningful and productive lives, personally and professionally, and to contribute to the economy of the region to an even greater extent than our old facility has permitted.â€
EVC President Jennifer Enderson said the new building will give Emory Valley Center the ability to place more workers in community employment and increase the number of workshop participants.
“Working, for many of our service recipients, defines who they are and greatly increases their level of independence and dignity,” Enderson said. “Providing meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities and those who work with them enhances the workplace, promotes goodwill, and fosters a positive community spirit.â€
The Emory Valley Center is located in Anderson County, but its service area covers 16 counties, principally Anderson, Knox, Morgan, and Roane, the press release said. However, it also includes Campbell, Scott, Monroe, and Loudon counties, and others in the East Tennessee region.
The Emory Valley Center provides a wide array of vocational training and educational programs to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults and children. About 140 disabled adults receive a variety of programs designed to help them enter the workforce and about 90 live in group homes, apartments, and residential housing run by EVC.
There are also more than 400 children now being served by the EVC Early Leaning Center through a Home and Community Based Program and Center Based Preschool.
Anyone wishing to donate to the EVC Capital Campaign may do so by mailing a contribution to P.O. Box 5328, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, or by going online to www.emoryvalleycenter.com.
“All funds will go directly to the new replacement building and to the programs that have helped so many for so long,” the press release said.