– While we continue to serve thousands of families each year, the Nursery is currently unable to care for all those who ask for help. VBCN turned away more than 2,500 requests for care in 2017.
– Child abuse continues to rise in Spokane County. There are approximately 15 founded reports of abuse and neglect each day.
– The Nursery estimates we are currently only serving 1 in every 10 at-risk children, and their parents, who would benefit from our services.
– VBCN has no more space to take in additional kids. Every square foot of our existing facility has been maxed out.
– Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has purchased a 1.6 Acre lot located at 2230 E Sprague Avenue for the purpose of building a larger Nursery.
– The nearest major cross streets for the facility are Sprague & Altamont.
– The site was chosen for its easy accessibility, proximity to a bus stop on a major route and increased visibility within the community.
– The existing structure on the lot has been removed to make space for a brand new facility. We estimate the new facility will be roughly 32,000 square feet with a 6,000 square foot outdoor play space (Our currently facility is roughly 12,000 square feet).
What is the time frame for completion of the new facility?
We are currently in the design phase and hope to have the facility completed, and doors open, by February 2020. We have an aggressive timeline for completion and continue to secure funds for the project as it goes.
Are you concerned about not having a residential feeling at the new facility?
We believe that there are other ways to make the Nursery feel warm, inviting and non-judgmental than just being in a residential area. The highest priority of the Nursery’s work is the safety of our kids and families. The new facility will be designed as a safe haven for children to thrive with these issues in mind.
What is going to happen to the existing Nursery facility?
The existing facility will be kept for now until the new facility is complete. It will either be used for expanded Nursery services or will be sold/leased to support our work.
What happened to the building that was on the site of the new Nursery?
The building was demolished in March 2018 to make way for construction as City ordinances require any new facility to be built to the street. This will also allow us to better secure an outdoor play yard by protecting it from Sprague with three sides of the facility.
How is the new facility going to impact operating expenses?
Any time VBCN has the opportunity to serve more children and families, there will always be additional costs. We have operated under the belief that as long as we prove to the community the benefit their investments have on children and families, the revenue to operate the facility will be provided by those who are committed to preventing child abuse and neglect.
Are there any safety concerns in relocating the Nursery to that part of town?
The safety and security of our kids, families, volunteers and staff is always the highest priority. Our design team will place a strong emphasis on safety inside and out. We’ll be collaborating with security advisors and the Spokane Police Department to ensure top-notch security protocols. We truly believe that our 24-hour presence in the East Spokane area will make the neighborhood, and those who use our services, feel safer.
How much did the purchase of the new site cost and where did the funds for the purchase come from?
The Nursery spent $1.3 million for the purchase of the property. Since the Nursery has been looking for property for several years, the Board of Trustees has been working on tucking away funds in a responsible way at the end of each year for future growth. With savings, and some gifts from supporters that were specifically for future growth, the Nursery was able to purchase the property with cash.
Did the price of the new property weigh-in to your purchase decision?
Being completely privately funded, the Nursery is constantly making sure that every dollar spent is put to good use. When the Board of Trustees decided to purchase this property, they prioritized accessibility, visibility and value. Every effort was made to make sure that the money spent on this property is justifiable. We firmly believe that we received a good value for this parcel and this investment in property is what it’s going to take to keep more kids safe.