Neighbors offered little concern Monday about a proposed $5.2 million residence for at-risk young adults.
Fort Wayne Plan Commission members listened as builder Kevan Biggs provided details about The Courtyard, a two-story building that will spring from the former Duemling Clinic site at the northwest corner of Fairfield and Home avenues. The 47,400-square-foot, 36-unit facility will provide refuge for those who age out of the foster care system at 18.
The Courtyard will offer counseling, job/life skills courses, assistance with obtaining a high school/GED diploma, parenting education and other services. Biggs Ideal Suburban will build and manage the property, while Delphos, Ohio-based SAFY or Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth will run the program.
SCAN – Stop Child Abuse and Neglect of Fort Wayne – will own The Courtyard, which city and community leaders originally announced last month.
Biggs said after demolition of the clinic, he expects construction on the facility to conclude by the end of next year. Leasing would start in 2014.
Most of the residents will be 18 to 25 years old, he said.
There was some concern over plant life, but Biggs assured residents that crews would preserve trees as long as they didnt pose a liability. That was fine by Darrell Kindschy, president of the Creighton Home Neighborhood Association, who was in attendance during Mondays public hearing.
He said the Duemling Clinic has become an eyesore to the neighborhood.
Fort Wayne Community Schools bought the building for $800,000 in 1994, but the district ended up selling it 10 years later for $290,000. There were plans for senior housing and a drug-and-alcohol rehab center at the site, but those projects fell through as well.
Another resident on Monday said he appreciated The Courtyard because as a former foster parent he knows the difficulties teens face when trying to transition into society.
Officials said there are as many as 500 young adults annually in Fort Wayne who could qualify to live at The Courtyard.
Federal funds will pay most of the cost of the residence, while the city is contributing $475,000 and the state $377,000.
The plan commission will vote on the development at 5 p.m. Monday at Citizens Square.