A vacant call center in Grove City has been transformed into a bright, welcoming and barrier-free space for adults with developmental disabilities.
ARC Industries recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new facility on Marlane Drive, which expects to provide active treatment and community-based services for
about 75 people. A majority will be residents of the nearby Heinzerling Developmental Center who had been traveling to Groveport for day services.
“We realized there aren’t a lot of providers in the area, especially those that can support people with complex needs,” said Amanda Smith, chief services officer at ARC. “Now it’s going to be a nine-minute commute for them – we timed it – instead of 25.”
To reimagine the building, ARC leaders turned to their front-line employees. “We really worked closely with our staff – they know the needs of people best,” she said. “From the beginning, they helped us pick the architect, they helped us pick the design team, the colors and even the paint.”
The top-to-bottom renovation received the Interior Design Award in the Voices of Design Competition hosted by the Columbus Center for Architecture and Design.
“I’m so excited to see what this will provide for people with developmental disabilities in our community,” said Jed Morison, Superintendent/CEO of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “It means a lot.”
The building is focused on flexibility of space and a feel that is open, modern and filled with natural light. It has several private changing rooms, activity rooms and an outdoor sensory garden.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said CJ Clifford, habilitation specialist at Heinzerling. “The building is innovative and accessible. It’s pretty much what human beings want – to be able to go outside, and to experience the outside when you’re inside.”
Smith said ARC would love to hear from community members interested in volunteering or offering instruction in art, yoga, literacy or other activities. For contact information, go to arcind.com