Welcome to the first official e-newsletter of The Villages. Every month we’ll share updates on our new facility, programs happening at The Villages, and spotlights of our staff, students, and partners.
Be sure to follow along through our monthly e-newsletter by subscribing below.
Since 1966, The Villages, whose mission is fulfilled by its committed and dedicated staff, has been serving children in need, irrespective of their background, their origin, their history or their circumstance. Indeed, for over 50 years, our mission and focus has been resolutely on serving children in need – providing safety, love, trust, medical care, education and hope for a brighter future. We operate on a proud foundation of doing what is right and knowing the efforts of our organization and our people do make a difference – in the lives of those who need and benefit most from it – for the children.
While our mission and focus have been enduring, the physical plant we utilize to deliver on our mission has not. The last major upgrade to our physical premises at our headquarters in Topeka was made in 2006 when we put new roofs and exteriors on our seven homes, which were originally constructed between 1968-1978. This upgrade was made possible by a number of gracious and generous partners right here in Topeka, the largest of which was from The Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, which donated $650,000 to make this possible. We are deeply thankful and forever grateful to them for demonstrating their endorsement of our mission and our organization!
Over the last 5 years, our employee count has more than doubled at The Villages to its current level exceeding 100 employees who serve more than 70 children at our seven homes in Topeka and Lawrence. As we look further into our future, The Board of Directors is embarking on the construction of a new administration building which will be fit for our needs and replace the existing administration building, which we’ve occupied since 2011 after we converted a residential building on our property and moved out of our location on 29th Street.
This new administration building is intended to be located just off of SW Urish Rd and SW 10th Ave in Topeka. Our preliminary estimate is the new building will cost approximately $5 million and we are currently seeking monetary donations to our Building Fund to help make our new administration building a reality which will enable the next 50 years and beyond of The Villages delivering on our mission to serve all children in need.
If you’d like to donate towards this new building and help make our mission a continued reality, please donate at https://www.thevillagesinc.org/donate-now/.
We’re moving! The Villages is relocating its administrative and educational services building to a new facility on SW Urish Road. This new 21,000 square foot site, designed by Architect One, Inc., will have both an administrative and educational wing, linked by a shared commons area.
The administration wing has been designed for 30 offices, secure file storage, and shared work areas. There will also be a donor recognition wall in the reception area, conference space, and break room for building staff.
The education wing will house six classrooms, a multipurpose activity/lunch space with a kitchen, storage, and offices for the learning center staff. There will also be an outdoor gathering area and separate entries for administrative staff and students. Stay tuned for more updates on the new building!
This month’s student spotlight is Nate Lister!
Nate has been with The Villages for over five years and recently graduated this May from high school.
In his time at The Villages, Nate was a House Ambassador for House 8, where he welcomed new children and helped them get accustomed to their new surroundings.
Since graduating, Nate moved in with his best friend and is currently taking a gap year to work full-time while applying to different colleges.
Nate enjoys folklore, live-action role-playing, D&D, and can often be found playing video games with friends. He’s passionate about LGBTQ rights and has always been a hard worker.
We’re excited to partner with Architect One, Inc. on our new 21,000 square foot facility. Architect One, Inc. is a full-service Architecture, Planning, and Interior Design firm that services the Topeka, Manhattan, and Kansas City area.
Architect One, Inc. has been integral in designing a facility that will function as both an administrative building and a multi-purpose educational center for students. They’ve done an excellent job of incorporating natural design elements that align with our mission to “conserve youth – preserve nature”. This includes ample natural light, natural building materials such as timber beams, and an outdoor gathering area.
Architect One, Inc. started working on the new facility in December 2020 and our hope is to break ground later this fall with a finished building in late 2022.
Below is an image of the diligent team at Architect One, Inc. that has been working on the new facility.
To learn more about Architect One, Inc., visit https://ao.design/.