A local adoption and foster care nonprofit is planning to move all of its operations into a single expanded headquarters in town.
D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s, or DABSJ, plans to invest $11.5 million to expand its campus at 2355 Knapp St. NE to accommodate space for all its programs, which currently are also provided at two other campuses on Leonard Street and Fuller Avenue.
DABSJ leaders plan to close the other locations and move into the expanded 55,000-square-foot building after construction is complete. Construction is set to begin in August 2020 and conclude in December 2021.
The nonprofit plans to sell its current headquarters, at 805 Leonard St. NE, for $1.5 million.
The expanded campus will feature more programing space, administrative offices, family visit rooms, classrooms, a health clinic, an activity center, meeting and counseling rooms, a youth café and an upgraded heating and cooling system.
The consolidation of services will result in more efficient use of staff time and improve collaboration across the agency. The consolidation plan is expected to save the organization $2 million and double capacity over the next two decades.
“Demand for our programs is increasing,” said Beverly Grant, a DABSJ volunteer. “Unfortunately, neglect and abuse of children in Kent County continues, and we need to provide an exceptional haven for youth in our area, as we remain strong advocates for their care.”
Child abuse and neglect has grown over 27% in Michigan since 2012, with about 1,800 Kent County children experiencing abuse and neglect last year.
DABSJ launched a $10-million capital campaign in August 2018 that has raised more than $6.9 million from 130 donors, businesses and foundations. The $1-million lead gift came from David Samrick and Susan Samrick, long-time DABSJ supporters and honorary chairs of the campaign.
The public phase of the campaign began today.
Integrated Architecture is the architect and designer for the project.
A contractor has not yet been determined.
D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s
D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s offers 20 programs, including an emergency shelter, residential services, counseling, foster care and adoption.
The nonprofit serves nearly 9,000 families each year and employs more than 350 people.