Long road to rebirth for Hendrick Home for Children’s iconic building

by AryanArtnews
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When the Henderick Home for Children’s 2020 Vision Strategic Plan was born in 1998, it was clear that the architecturally different but dilapidated main building of the campus had exceeded its useful purpose, the house retired. President and CEO David Miller said.

Right next to the Tread Away Boulevard, the familiar columnar facade has risen to the hearts and memories of many since 1939.

But the iconic look began to have a lot of internal problems, Miller said.

“The walls were fragile. There was a river under the building, so there was black mold,” he said.

He said the old-fashioned wiring needs to be replaced.

“Because it’s sandwiched between two floors, there was no way to access all the utilities and water, sewers, etc.,” he said.

The worst part was that 95% of the buildings contained asbestos, he said.

“We knew we had to deal with all that,” Miller said.

Finally, the original building did not have the floor plan needed “to provide the childcare functions that we do today.”

more:When the castle was king and ruled the architecture of West Texas

Best decision

The former facade of the main building of Henderick Home for Children before it was demolished in 2018.  As part of the 1998 Home Vision Plan, a new version of the familiar look has emerged.

The house paid a structural engineer $ 20,000 to seriously consider other options and consider alternatives, Mylar said.

After all, it’s cheaper, and from a design flexibility standpoint, it makes more sense to disassemble it and start anew.

“That was the best decision,” Miller said, but even he had his appointment.

“I was worried about how the community would take it. Even my own wife wondered if we had to do it.”

But after talking to Henderick Home executives, it became clear that it was the inner heart, not the building, and was of paramount importance, he said.

Hard work

AL "Dusty" The Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex opened in 2016 at Henderick Home for Children to provide a living quarter for single mothers and their children.

According to Miller, the plan wasn’t just about dismantling and rebuilding a single structure. I needed a mountain of support facilities.

This meant building the Mike Ramsey Maintenance Building and Storage Complex and the 30,000-square-foot AL “Dusty” and Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex to accommodate 12 single mothers and their children.

“We had to build a cottage worth $ 4 million,” he said. “Then I had to remodel two of the 1970s cottages.”

When it was time to begin dismantling the main building, the entity virtually “did something () either refurbished or new on every square foot of the campus,” Miller said.

Old and new

Rendered by an artist at Henderick Home for Children showing the reconstructed main building.

In honor of the castle design, this project destroyed and rebuilt a facility that was very similar to the original facility.

Fortunately, there was a good plan for 22 years. In other words, the house was able to collect and pay the necessary funds along the way.

“We are debt-free. Our building program is 16 times that of 1998,” Miller said. “And we are in the best financial position ever.”

But not everything went according to plan.

He said construction of the main building began two and a half years ago, and Miller admits that “I thought I was where I am in April of this year.”

Especially in the last two years, COVID-19 has brought “a dramatic and emotional film to everything”, including challenges such as home donations and the loss of traditionally credible funding income.

Miller admitted that the project was still in the “cut mirror” stage as of mid-December, but hoped that the supervisor would start moving by the end of the year and clients could move in soon after. rice field.

Room to grow

The iconic main building of Henderick Home for Children was destroyed and rebuilt on the ground as part of a long-standing construction project.

Former Abilene Reporter-News Writer / Editor Loretta Fulton’s “Hendrick Home for Children: Still Building on a Solid Foundation” says 22 family care and college apartments with a new two-story structure Can be extended.

Part of the process involved the collection and storage of historic or iconic furniture, fixtures and records, but the children of the old building had to be transferred to the Rhodes complex.

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