Name change is 2nd chance

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is only fitting that a facility designed to give Lawrence County youth a second chance is in some ways getting one of its own.

Administrators and county officials were on hand last week for the formal opening of the Lawrence County Juvenile Center, a program once called the Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home when it was housed in Ironton.

In addition to a name change that makes sense because it better encapsulates the goal of the program, this is a good move for the youth it serves. The expansive campus of the former Mended Reeds building on State Route 93 offers plenty of room for positive activities and personal growth, two things that will be needed if these youth are going to succeed. The building is also home to the alternative school that serves these youth and others.

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Their former home was more than 100 years old and in constant need of repairs. It had simply outlived its useful lifespan for a building that served youth.

But this move also a good decision for the county because it gives it a key asset, allows the group home to achieve a different status that will lead to more state and federal funding and also opens the door for commercial development in Ironton on the property where the center was housed.

This property, when added to several acres that make up the county engineer’s garage and the former armory, combine to become an extremely marketable area for commercial development.

It is only fitting that a facility all about offering a second chance is getting one of its own, in a sense.