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El Centro to break ground at bigger site June 9

By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

LORAIN: El Centro de Servicios Sociales has raised over $1 million for the renovation of its new home, and will have its groundbreaking at the 2800 Pearl Avenue site, Thursday, June 9, 2011, at 10 a.m.

Though forced to scale back on the design, the agency plans to have its grand opening this November.

Recently meeting with Lorain City Council, the agency's Executive Director Victor Leandry, its Chief Financial Officer Dan Radocaj, and its Board Vice President Margarita Quiñones have all called this an “exciting” and “challenging” time, after planning this move for roughly 4 years.

The Latino social service agency entered a building exchange agreement with the city of Lorain in 2007 to renovate the former bank on the corner of 28th Street and Pearl Avenue, and turn it into its new headquarters. The agency has outgrown its current 1888 E. 31st Street building, and the new building will be three times larger with a bigger parking lot and offices.

Greg Hickman, development officer, said the agency has raised close to $1.3 million of its $1.5 million capital campaign goal for its bigger home, and the renovation project will cost the agency $1.2 million.

The agency was forced to scale back its design after not meeting the original campaign goal, and will renovate two-thirds of the building. The remaining section could be used by the agency or a partner organization in the future.

Schalmo Builders, based out of Holmes County, was selected the project's contractor May 17, from among 11 total bidders, Hickman said. He said they received no bids from Lorain County. Schalmo is still identifying subcontractors, with as many from Lorain County as possible, Hickman said.

“It was a competitive process, and they best met the criteria we were looking for,” Hickman said.

Schalmo Builders was the lowest bidder but Hickman said that was not their only criteria.

“They were most able to complete the project within the timeline,” Hickman said “they are also doing construction in the Lorain County Metropolitan Housing Authority currently. They are a very reputable company in Lorain County,” Hickman said.

The agency is selling commemorative bricks to help raise for the project, going for $100 and $300.

Call the agency at (440) 277-8235. See online: http://www.lorainelcentro.com/

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Copyright © 1989 to 2011 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/07/11 13:01:36 -0700.





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