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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, March 10, 2018 1:00 am

Crossroad adding to remodeling list

Conceptual plans show 3 new buildings, more parking

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

More than the Byron Health Center may be coming to land now occupied by Crossroad Child & Family Services near Lake Avenue and Beacon Street in Fort Wayne.

The Crossroad campus has submitted what its President and Chief Executive Officer Randall Rider called “conceptual plans” for a major redevelopment of the agency's 135-year-old campus to the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.

Crossroad serves troubled children and families. 

“They are plans as to what we might like to do in the future as we look to expand in the future,” Rider said, adding no timetable or cost estimate for the redevelopment exists at this time.

Blueprints submitted with the application show three new buildings – a 10,000-square-foot dormitory, a 13,750-square-foot administrative support and outpatient treatment facility and a “future building” of 5,000 square feet, plus 70 additional parking spaces.

The renovation would involve tearing down four buildings, two of which date to around 1917 and two from the 1950s, Rider said.

One is now a treatment residence, one houses staff offices and a dining room, one is the former superintendent's cottage and the other is unused, he said.

Also, some spaces would be repurposed, including space used for a swimming pool taken out of service several years ago. That space would become a dining area and community meeting space, he said. 

Crossroad Academy, an independent alternative school for about 75 children from elementary-school age though high school in an existing building, will remain, Rider said.

“Our history is we were an orphanage and then a children's home before becoming a treatment center, and we found (some of) our buildings weren't sufficient for children with significant emotional issues. So we are going to remove those and build buildings that are more suitable,” he said.

The nonprofit Crossroad provides residential, outpatient and community-based treatment services for children from Allen County and 16 other Indiana counties. The agency is a contracted agency of the Indiana Department of Child Services, Rider said.

In 2017, he said, about 250 children were served daily, about 400 altogether.

Byron Health this week announced plans to purchase about 15 acres at Lake Avenue and Beacon Street at the southern end of the approximately 40-acre Crossroad campus and relocate there from 12101 Lima Road in northwest Fort Wayne.

Byron serves adults who require long-term assisted living or skilled nursing as a result of traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability, Huntington's disease or various dementias. Rider said he envisions the campus renovation as part of a developing “treatment corridor for people with special needs.”

Besides Crossroad, corridor components include the Veterans Administration health center, the Parkview-Randallia hospital campus, Parkview Behavioral Health, various physicians' offices and facilities for several nonprofit groups that serve medical, emotional and developmental needs.

In a statement in Crossroad's annual report for 2015-16, Rider said “a significant reversal” was occurring in the need for intensive residential treatment for children related to trauma from parents' drug addiction.

“Today, every operational bed at Crossroad is occupied, and every residential living unit has a very long waiting list,” he wrote then.

He added the agency was committed to building staff, services and facilities “to help us meet as much of that need as we possibly can.”

Crossroad employs about 110 people, Rider said.

The renovation plan will have a public hearing at 6 p.m. April 9 in Room 35 of Citizens Square.   

rsalter@jg.net