Sybene to become training center for clients of Board of DDPublished 12:16pm Thursday, November 8, 2012
BURLINGTON — The Sybene Senior Citizens Center is scheduled to be turned into a habilitation center for the clients of the county’s Board of Developmental Disabilities.
“This is something they are not doing in all the counties in Ohio,” said Tim Nunnery, public relations and personnel director for the board. “This is something that is revolutionary.”
Right now the Board of DD provides education for students at the Ironton Open Door School, an adult workshop at Tri-State Industries at its Coal Grove headquarters and early childhood intervention at its South Point center.
The habilitation center will provide the opportunity for clients to develop skills many take for granted.
“They will be doing things like learning everyday activities such as cooking, arts and crafts,” Nunnery said. “Things that will help them to do everyday things like learning to change clothing, better care for themselves, do hobbies and activities. … People a little bit more severe (than at Tri-State Industries). Not actually do the work. Learn some things to keep them busy.”
The Sybene center was run by the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization until government cutbacks caused the agency to close the center to seniors and consolidate activities at the Ironton Senior Center.
The center had served seniors in the eastern end of the county with mid-day congregate meals five times a week and served as a headquarters for activities and classes. Sybene also provided the kitchen for the Meals on Wheels program that the CAO had sponsored but had to stop when the funding was cut.
“Our option was to shutter the building because the amount of cost the building represents was a great deal more than the senior programming could carry,” D.R. Gossett, CAO director, said. “Especially after we tried to trim the senior program down.”
Gossett said opening the center to the DD clients could possibly provide a training program down the road for the senior meal program.
“As a training program and conceivable training program to help us prepare meals,” Gossett said. “While we didn’t want to talk about the concept that much until it took hold, what they were doing over time would help us do a better job at providing meals to the senior citizens.”
The Board of DD is paying $1 in rent to the CAO, which owns the building. The board is also paying the utilities at Sybene. The center is expected to be up and running early next year.