Eagle Village celebrates remodeled Activity Center

HERSEY  Eagle Village, a healing center for youth and families, held a dedication celebration Wednesday, to open a newly-remodeled Activity Therapy Center.

The remodeled facility is designed to host therapeutic activities, such as athletics, dance, music and art. There also is a newly remodeled sensory room, where youth can enhance their creativity and express their emotions.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for the last couple years and the kids have too,” said Doug Maxim, member of the center’s board of directors.

The completed project will show the center’s children that “they are valuable and worth us investing money,” Maxim said.

The dedication celebrated the completion of “Phase 1” of the remodeling process. The building will not be entirely remodeled for two to three more years.

The facility was at its lowest form about two years ago, said Craig Weidner, development director at Eagle Village. It originally was one of the first buildings built on Eagle Village’s campus in the early 1970s.

“We really didn’t think we could save the building,” Weidner said. “We had a board committee that got together and asked, ‘What could we do to best serve the needs of the children that we help?’”

The facility is the largest building of its kind in the area, said Lisa Spaugh, marketing coordinator for Eagle Village.

Contractors, sponsors and donors came from multiple cities across Michigan, including Gladwin, Traverse City, Midland, Clare, Grand Rapids, Hudsonville, Belmont and Cadillac to attend the dedication, said Weidner.

“We serve the state and the state in turn is helping the children we serve,” he said.

In a short speech, Weidner recognized Angela Daugherty, vice president of construction and design at FED Design/Builders, who helped contract the project. FED contributed electrical needs, such as lighting and heating.

He also recognized contractor Steve Holland, of Holland Construction Co. In honor of the company’s contributions, the locker room has been named the Holland Construction Locker Room.

The fitness center is named the Rogers Athletic Fitness Center, as Rogers Athletic Co. entirely sponsored the equipment donation. The company supplies weight-lifting equipment to the NFL and to many major colleges.

The Kiwanis Club of Midland provided donations, as well as painted the building’s exterior.

Wexford Wood Workings, LLC, provided hand-crafted items, including the beams and cross inside the building’s chapel.

The gym is named the Branson Family Gymnasium, as the Branson family from Midland helped originally construct the building.

The sensory room is entitled the Ronald McDonald House Charities Sensory Room, because the charity provided a grant for all of the equipment to be used in it.

“We currently have an unfinished art room and a potential music therapy room that we would very much like a company, family or organization to sponsor and help us finish,” Spaugh said.

After the ribbon-cutting, Eagle Village’s Advancement Coordinator Don Guernsey led a  tour through each remodeled room.

Twenty-five cents of every $1 must be fundraised to support Eagle Village. The center’s Early Intervention Services also require additional funding, including camps, foster care, adoption and chapel programs. Scholarship support also is needed for families with financial difficulties.

Eagle Village manages a $7 million budget, of which 92 percent is spent on direct care of youth and families, according to Eagle Village’s 2013 annual report.

For more information or to donate to Eagle Village, visit eaglevillage.org.