The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities is one step closer to building two multi-system youth homes.
Board members at their Nov. 20 meeting accepted a bid of $1,151,931 from Vernon Nagel Inc., Napoleon, for site development.
Workers will be taking 20 acres of existing farmland west of the Wood Lane campus on East Gypsy Lane Road and developing public roads, public utilities including sewer and water and providing drainage.
The land will be divided into seven parcels in a cul de sac. The parcels are zoned institutional for future use by other public agencies, but there are no current plans to lease or sell the space, said Scott McKeown, health and safety coordinator.
Site development should start this month with construction of the homes starting in the summer, he said.
“We’ve been working toward that for the last five years,” McKeown said. “We’re finally getting to the stage where it will come to fruition, hopefully next year.”
The term multiple service systems is defined as youth who meet eligibility criteria from two or more social service programs, explained WCBDD Superintendent Brent Baer.
The number of youth in need of intensive treatment options including residential services continues to grow in Wood Bounty as does the need for short- and long-term options for individuals with developmental disabilities who are also eligible for multiple service systems.
The size of the facility will be restricted to four or fewer individuals per home, due to regulatory requirements. It is anticipated that four males and four females will be served in each home.
Data shows the homes will be used primarily by teenagers based on referrals, Baer said.
The homes will be designed for teenagers with intense needs and will be specially designed with solid exterior walls, reinforced interior walls and heavy-duty windows.
“We’re building them solid for a very intentional reason,” McKeown said.
Baer explained if the board paid more upfront on construction it will save money in ongoing maintenance over the next 50 years.
Each home will have 3,168 square feet of living space with a visitor’s area of 533 square feet, McKeown said.
The board has budgeted $2 million in its capital plan for each home.
“We believe that they will be under that,” Baer said.
McKeown said there may be some state funding from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to offset the costs of the homes.
As the homes are designed, they will get firmer costs, he added.
The board’s 2024-25 capital plan includes the development of the MSY housing, entrance security upgrades to Building B, office space updates and the purchase of a new school bus.
The projected costs for capital projects in 2024 is $16,029,600 and includes $1.4 million in contingency costs.
The big-ticket item is Service and Support Building renovation at an estimated $10 million.
McKeown said the board looked at proposed capital projects over the next several years and decided there will be significant efficiencies if the projects are combined.
The project includes adding a sprinkler system, renovating the security entrance and moving the main entrance to the east side of the building, adding office and meeting space, replacing the roof, and repairing the friendship dedication area that was built in the 1990s.
Additional projects and purchases in the capital plan include:
Conference room 186 acoustic solutions, $70,000
Maintenance vehicle replacement, $52,000
Wood Lane School sensory rooms renovations, $276,0000
One school bus, $175,000
The board next year will continue working with the City of Bowling Green and the Ohio Adjunct General to conduct roofing and building envelope repairs at the Bowling Green Community Center. The board’s share of these expenses budgeted at $266,591.
The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and one of the three partners that built the center, pays about 19% of facility costs, McKeown said.
Additionally, acoustic improvements are planned in the Dolores Black Gymnasium of the community center at a cost of $77,000.