Fundraisers at 75 percent of goal
B&W Y-12 donated $75,000 on Wednesday to help the Emory Valley Center build a new facility by early 2015, when a county-owned building that houses some of its programs is expected to be torn down.
B&W Y-12 has now donated $175,000 of a $250,000 pledge, and EVC volunteers have raised $2.5 million of their $3.3 million goal, said former state representative and pediatrician Gene Caldwell, who is co-chair of the EVC capital campaign. That’s 75 percent of the fundraising goal.
Emory Valley Center now has two facilities across the street from each other on Emory Valley Road. The new 30,000-square-foot building west of the current administrative and workshop areas on the south side side of Emory Valley Road would consolidate the nonprofit’s operations, which include an Early Learning Center, gym, offices, kitchen, and work training center.
“This is a huge, huge help,” EVC President Jennifer Enderson of the B&W Y-12 donation. “The clock is ticking on when we must vacate an existing facility, and we can’t start construction of the new one until we have raised enough money.”
The Wednesday check presentation was made in the work training center, where dozens of EVC clients provide cost-effective services to area businesses every day, including assembly and packing, and take part in job readiness classes, a press release said. That facility also will be expanded under the construction project, which could break ground next year. An architect has already been hired.
“The Emory Valley Center provides critical services to hundreds of people in our area and has for many, many years,” said B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Chuck Spencer. “All of us at B&W Y-12 are pleased to be able to continue our support, and we challenge others in the community to step up and help the center reach its goal.”
B&W Y-12 manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a separate agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.
The press release said the Emory Valley Center must replace the Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center building that houses many of the center’s programs and vacate it by the end of 2014.
“The cost to the governments in Anderson County and Oak Ridge for maintenance and continued operation of the old and inefficient building has become too high,” the release said. “Many of the clients at the center, who have faced many obstacles and challenges in their lives, have outlived their parents and are dependent on Emory Valley Center for their total support.”
Enderson said the new building will allow EVC, which started in 1955 and has been in its current building since the 1970s, to expand its supported employment and training. The center needs another $800,000 to begin the project, Caldwell said.
“We have to have the funds to pay for the project before we start work,” he said.
Troy Patel, general manager of Comfort Inn, said the hotel takes part in EVC’s supported employment program. Comfort Inn was named the center’s 2013 business of the year, he said.
With help from EVC job coach Brian Arrington, Bill Roberson is a facilities associate at Comfort Inn, where he works 20 hours a week.
“It’s a lot of help and helps develop more skills,” Roberson said.
The Emory Valley Center serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides programs, services, and support to more than 850 children and adults in the Greater Metropolitan Knoxville area, but also serves 16 counties of Appalachia, including 140 adults, ages 22-85, with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism and sensory impairment; normally-developing children and those with developmental delays, ages six weeks to five years, in a full-day inclusive Early Learning Center; 450 children with developmental disabilities or a chronic medical condition from birth to three in an Early Intervention Program in both home and community-based settings; and 200 families with a family member with a severe disability served through a family support program in 10-counties. Residential services are also provided for 95 disabled adults in homes throughout the community.
“Because of where we are located, people tend to think of us as just for Oak Ridge,” Enderson said. “In reality we serve people from across the region, so we hope companies and individuals from across the region will help us reach our goal.”
Note: This story was last updated at 5:52 a.m. Nov. 5.
More information will be added as it becomes available.