Originally published in the The Summerville Journal Scene on Monday, March 23, 2015
Author: Monica Kreber
Two family advocates with the Dorchester Children’s Center are finally about to move out of an old garage and into an actual office building.
For the past year the Dorchester Children’s Center has been busy working on a 6,000-square-foot expansion project that will allow its 20 staff members to have office space. Now the construction is finished and staff members are moving in furniture – and Rachel Sheridan is beyond ready.
“To see it progress the way it has – it’s a beautiful building,” she said. “I cannot even contain my excitement.”
Sheridan, fund development director for the center, has watched the new addition blossom from “just a cell” to an actual building. The downstairs will house all of the center’s interview services. All the administrative staff will move upstairs.
The building will allow more space for therapists and family advocates in the center’s front building.
“We’ll actually be able to provide an office for all of our staff, other than nooks and crannies,” Sheridan said.
The overall project is $2.5 million. The center conducted a capital campaign for the expansion project.
The Dorchester Children Center is a child advocacy center that serves children who have experienced a traumatic event including abuse or neglect.
Last November the Roper St. Francis Physician’s Endowment gave the center a total of $1 million to help with the expansion. The funds were approved by the Medical Society of South Carolina in mid-November.
Sheridan said a lot of the new building’s furniture is being donated by Ashley Furniture. Store staffers are also going to help decorate it.
“Once you start putting the stuff in it makes it a home,” Sheridan said.
To celebrate the new expansion the center is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 27 at 11:30 a.m. There will also be an open house for people to come and check out the addition until 6 p.m.
The festivities will include Mayor Bill Collins signing a proclamation recognizing the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Sheridan said the new addition looks amazing so far.
“We are just excited and ready to move in,” she said.