Organization will take over former Chevrolet location
The Commercial Review
A new home and a new level of service, that’s what Community and Family Services is looking for as it goes into its 50th year.
CFS executive director Andy Glentzer said this week the six-county anti-poverty agency is purchasing the former Chevrolet dealership property on North Meridian Street in Portland as its new headquarters and the site of expanded programming.
“This will be our central office for all six counties,” said Glentzer, a Jay County native who has been in the leadership role at CFS for about a year.
CFS serves Jay, Blackford, Huntington, Adams, Wells and Randolph counties with a broad range of programs including Head Start, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), home weatherization, energy assistance, blight elimination, a thrift store and Helping Hand Food Pantry.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” said Glentzer.
To that list, CFS plans to add two new programs and house them in the former dealership building at the southwest corner of Meridian and Race streets.
The former auto showroom will become home to an entrepreneurship center. Eight offices will be available with a receptionist and utilities provided.
The goal, Glentzer said, is not only to provide an additional revenue stream for CFS but also to help individuals improve their economic situation via entrepreneurship.
The north side of the center section of the building will be the site of a new adult day care center, which will offer Level 1 care for the elderly five days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It will allow people to go to work and still take care of their parents,” said Glentzer.
The need for an adult day care facility surfaced during the Jay County 20/20 planning process, and CFS is stepping up to fill that gap, he said.
The food pantry and thrift shop will be located at the west end of the building, and Glentzer said it’s “highly likely” that an addition of 1,500 to 2,000 square feet will be built at the west end.
“We’ve already outgrown it,” said Glentzer. “We’ve got other initiatives starting.”
Architect Michael Halstead of Marion is working on plans for the building, and CFS officials are hopeful that remodeling work can begin this spring with full occupancy by October.
“That’s a big if,” acknowledged Glentzer. “They told me when I took this position I would learn patience.”
There is one underground storage tank on the property, but it has been filled with sand and capped off. Glentzer said it has been cleared by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
When completed, the building will house all CFS local programs with the exception of Head Start and the weatherization program.
The current CFS offices on South Wayne Street just south of Hudson Family Park will be put on the market for sale.
The North Meridian Street property over the years has been the site of Hardy Chevrolet, Milligan Chevrolet, Coby-Brookbank Chevrolet and Kunkle Chevrolet. Its most recent owner was former State Rep. Bill Davis, an auctioneer.