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Group home deal about foundations

For nearly 130 years, the venerable white brick building has stood proudly, relying on its strong foundation to allow employees to try and build that same foundation in the youth it served.

But the time has come for the Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home to say goodbye, paving the way for a new home for the troubled youth it serves and also opening the doors for economic development on a piece of property that has been coveted for years.

The Lawrence County Commission announced that they had agreed in principle to purchase the Mended Reeds facility on State Route 93 and relocate the youth from the group home.

While we were saddened to hear that the economic climate had put Mended Reeds in a position it could no longer make the facility work financially, we do think this is a positive step for the Lawrence County Juvenile Court and also for Ironton’s future.

This will give the court a mostly remodeled facility — opening the door to a different level of state reimbursements than has been possible in the current building — and also provide a campus-type atmosphere that offers room for expansion and growth.

Throw in the fact that the state has already provided more than $500,000 of the $800,000 needed and this becomes an easy decision.

The money the county will save on housing out-of-county youth and constantly working to maintain a century-old building will quickly make this work fiscally.

Plus, this piece of property could be the final piece of the puzzle needed to open this neighborhood up for an economic development project.

This project could change the future for the youth who have found themselves in difficult situations but it could also be a key step toward changing Ironton’s economic development future.