Urbana’s Crisis Nursery nears completion despite Budget Impasse

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URBANA – In an update to a story WAND News brought you in October, Crisis Nursery in Urbana is nearing completion of its expansion ahead of schedule despite lacking state funding.

The construction of the new expansion is expected to be completed in late March. This is despite $285,000 being frozen indefinitely after years of delays. Crisis Nursery did not receive its first payout from two $200,000 grants awarded in 2009 until June 2014.

In May 2015, Crisis Nursery announced they had raised $1.15 million of its $1.4 million needed for the building expansion and were on track to meet the April 2016 grant deadline. Grants from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) were to cover 29% of the cost of the building.

One month later, those grants were suspended until further notice to the uncertainty of the State’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget. Crisis Nursery’s Board of Directors voted to proceed with the expansion despite the status of the grants.

Executive Director Stephanie Record says Crisis Nursery was forced to increase turnaways while they waited for their first grant payout.

“This is a problem we couldn’t ignore any longer, necessitating the capital campaign to build a facility large enough to meet demand. These families often have no support systems and nowhere else to turn when we are unable to help,” Record says.

A contractor was selected in August 2015, and groundbreaking occurred in October.

Record says she has seen an increase in calls from families feeling negatively affected by loss of services since the budget stalemate began. She also says it is frustrating to be seven months in and still not see a restoration of funding.

Crisis Nursery will not receive the remaining payout if the grants are not re-appropriated by the General Assembly.

“We raised $1.31 million as of today (February 16), 93% of our goal, if we receive the remaining funds from DCEO,” Record adds.

If the grants are not re-appropriated in time, Crisis Nursery may not be able to hire the staff needed to increase capacity right away, according to Record. That would cause turnaways to remain high in 2016. Crisis Nursery will need to take out a mortgage while they continue to fundraise to make up the difference.

Renovations will occur in the existing facility after the expansion is finished in March. The entire project should be completed by midsummer 2016.

More information about Crisis Nursery is available here.

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