You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

County approves plan to sell facility

Champaign County officials took a step forward this week with a proposal to sell an office building used by the county Department of Developmental Disabilities.

The Lawnview Industries Inc. facility, at 1250 U.S. 36, is one of two buildings now in use by Developmental Disabilities, and is used primarily for office space for staff members, as well as case management and services for adults with developmental disabilities. The agency also operates a Lawnview Child and Family Center on U.S. 68 that houses preschool education and other services.

However, the department will likely try to move all of its services into the family and child center at 2200 U.S. 68 and sell the U.S. 36 site, a plan that could save the organization as much as $180,000 annually in operational costs, said Laura Zureich, director of the Champaign County DoDD.

“Our program has reached the point where we could utilize only one of those,” she said.

A resolution approved by the commissioners this week is only an initial step in that process. Any revenue generated by the sale would go to Developmental Disabilities, and could be used for renovations.

The preschool program at the family and child centeris run by the Champaign-Madison Educational Service Center, but that agency plans to change its strategy and house the preschool program at local school districts instead.

With that change, enough space will be available at the family and child centerfor the department to have office space and manage all of its programs at a single site. In all, the DoDD serves about 530 residents with developmental disabilities of all ages.

The preschool program has been run at the site on U.S. 68 for several years, said Dan Kaffenbarger, superintendent for the Madison-Champaign ESC. There are eight classes and about 140 students at the school now. He said the DoDD offered to allow the preschool to take over the entire building, but it would have been too costly.

Instead, the ESC plans to use a different model in which pre-school students attend facilities in districts like Urbana and Mechanicsburg.

Kaffenbarger said although all staff members will be retained, it will be a difficult move because the staff has been working together in the family and child center for several years.

“In a lot of ways it’s like breaking up a family,” Kaffenbarger said.

A building planning committee has been formed, but has only met once, Zureich said. Eventually the committee will conduct a study to determine what the building on U.S. 68 should look like, and will put the project out for bid.

The Developmental Disabilities, which shares services and some administrative staff with Shelby County, received funding from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to purchase the Lawnview Industries site on U.S. 36. several years ago.

Zureich said they also must consult with the state to make sure there are no issues with selling the facility.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Kucinich goes after charter schools in Dayton-area visit
Kucinich goes after charter schools in Dayton-area visit

Dennis Kucinich, a potential candidate for governor and former Ohio congressman, spoke Monday night in Washington Township, where he criticized charter schools as a drain on public funding and public schools. Kucinich called charter schools a “multi-billion dollar boondoogle” that forces Ohioans to subsidize private school education with...
Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs
Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs

Springfield city leaders want to increase local income taxes to maintain services, fix roads and hire more police officers, but opponents believe it will make the city less attractive for prospective residents and businesses. Residents will vote May 2 whether to raise the city’s income tax for 5½ years from 2 percent to 2.4 percent. &ldquo...
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off

The city of Springfield won’t be resuming its red light camera program any time soon, despite Dayton’s proposal to turn its red-light and speed-detection cameras back on later this month to improve safety at intersections. Springfield leaders have said they won’t turn the city’s cameras back on until the issue is settled statewide...
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s as-yet-unannounced bid for governor moved forward today with the announcement that his office’s press secretary would join the Husted for Ohio campaign. Josh Eck said his last day in the office was today and he will become a spokesman for the campaign. “I have been a fan of Jon Husted’s since...
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned

People who are freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.  "They are entitled to be presumed innocent" once their convictions are thrown out, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the state "has zero claim"...
More Stories