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As published in Toledo Business Journal - September 1, 2019

Blanchard Valley Center’s School Age building undergoing renovations

Blanchard Valley Center’s School Age building undergoing renovations

BVC places $4.65M in renovations

Blanchard Valley Center (BVC), which is the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) organization that supports people with developmental disabilities from birth through end-of-life, is investing approximately $4.65 million to renovate and bring its facilities and grounds on its campus up to date.

The board formulated the plan and includes turning the former sheltered workshop into the County DD Board Administration building, completing site work for smoother traffic flow and parking, renovating bathrooms in both the Early Childhood and School Age buildings, and updating aging heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Kelli Grisham, superintendent of the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said, “The buildings on the campus of Blanchard Valley Center have been well maintained for the past 40-50 years, but they remained essentially unchanged during that time. Our office space was limited and in multiple instances, staff offices were housed within Blanchard Valley School. We formulated a plan to renovate the campus and bring its facilities and grounds up to date to better support the changing needs of people with developmental disabilities and better accommodate our staff.”

The project is being done in two phases, with the first phase of the project beginning in April 2018 and completed that September. The second phase of the project began in April 2019 and is expected to be complete at the end of August, as Toledo Business Journal goes to press.

RCM Architects, Inc., based in Findlay, is the architect for the project, and Alvada Construction, also based in Findlay, is the general contractor.

According to Grisham, phase one of the project included the renovation of the former workshop facilities into the County DD Board Administration building, which houses its operations department, quality services department, administration, and a training center with a capacity of 65 people. Additionally, two bays were added to the maintenance garage, including a salt bay, and site work included a student drop-off area for parents.

Phase two of the project, according to Grisham, entails renovation to the Early Childhood and School Age building, where a majority of the work includes bathroom renovations and HVAC replacement. Additionally, a new roof was installed on the School Age wing and site work includes renovation to the east parking lot, including new handicap accessible parking spaces as well as division of parking in the central part of campus, allowing for more consistent and safe school bus traffic.

“The buildings are relatively basic. The Blanchard Valley Center administration building has a training center that will comfortably accommodate 65-70 people and has been used by the County Board, the State Department of Developmental Disabilities, as well as outside community groups for conference space. The School/Early Childhood building will feature a Lego wall, a small rock-climbing wall that will be used in conjunction with physical and occupational therapy, as well as sensory areas,” said Grisham.

According to Grisham, the Blanchard Valley Center offers support for people with developmental disabilities, including early intervention and Help Me Grow; Blanchard Valley School and Preschool; service and support administration (case management services); Special Olympics; recreation and advocacy, and family support services.

Grisham noted that the renovations were paid without asking the community for additional funds via a tax levy and that the renovation was for operational purposes only.