UYC enjoys broad support – more needed
“The survey we conducted last month shows us just how many students say a youth center is essential to their future success and the outpouring of support from the community to fill our shelves demonstrates how many of us believe the UYC is absolutely essential,” said Justin T. Weller, the Lead Project Manager for the UYC.
When it opens, the youth center plans to offer programming Tuesdays and Thursdays from immediately after school until about 7:30 p.m. Students at both Urbana High School and Urbana Junior High indicated strong interest in “basic life skills” education, the UYC’s Homework & Study Assistance program, and hangout spaces.
The Urbana Youth Center is currently planning to open in early 2021 and is located at the former public library – 160 W. Market St. in downtown Urbana. To start serving students, a number of challenges still need to be addressed.
“The material donations from the community the last few weeks have truly been heartwarming. Right now, monetary contributions are needed to make sure we can fund our full lineup of programming through the summer of 2021. There are several great ways to donate like writing a check. If people wish to make a contribution using a debit or credit card, Facebook is the perfect place,” Weller said.
Facebook does not charge any processing fees or take a cut of any donations to verified 501(c)(3) organizations.
For those interested in supporting the project, Weller suggested people go to Facebook.com/UYcenter to donate. Checks should be made payable to “Urbana Youth Center” and mailed to 160 W. Market St., Urbana, OH 43078. Alternatively, people may call or text the youth center at (937) 772-4022.
“We need your help to open the Urbana Youth Center in January. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5, $500, or more. Every bit helps and regular monthly contributions help ensure the UYC will serve kids for years to come,” Weller said.
Weller encouraged people to visit UrbanaYouthCenter.org to learn more and explore ways to help.
The Urbana Youth Center is a project of the GrandWorks Foundation, a local not-for-profit organization championing several efforts to reach, restore and revive the community, according to the organization’s mission.
Submitted story & photos from Urbana Daily Citizen.
School organizes ‘Why You Matter’ campaign
“We saw an article that London Middle School had participated in the #Whyyoumatter campaign and wanted to incorporate that idea into our larger project,” said McKenzie Lamb, a counselor at Urbana Junior High School. “Some of the messages are heartfelt, some are funny, but all are touching in their unique way and we hope that seeing the pictures displayed in our building serves as a reminder to our students that they are worthy. Their stories matter. They matter.”
This “Why You Matter” project is part of a bigger project of 6th grade art teacher Mandy Parker and Lamb, who presented the idea of completing a Project Based Learning (PBL) activity on stigmas related to mental health.
Parker said the larger project, Stomping Out Stigma, dives into the negative perceptions of mental health challenges. Students created a variety of projects depicting the negatives that society labels mental health.
The project was planned to be set up and viewed as if you were in a museum.
Due to COVID-19, the event has to be virtual.
“We have a video coming out of the art installation created,” said Parker.
“The overall response from staff and students (down to the elementary level) has been awesome,” said Parker. “The kids are curious and love reading them. This would have been great for the entire district to be involved in.”
The “why you matter” display was set up on Nov. 10 and will be removed over Christmas break.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
This year has been a challenge and this holiday season proves to be as well. We know things aren’t the same as they usually are but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on what makes this season so special. We came up with a list of things to do this year to help keep the holiday spirit alive and to help you spread some cheer.
1.Send Christmas cards to family you can’t visit this year
We may not get to see everyone this year for the holidays, but you can still send some holiday cheer by sending custom cards to them in the mail. Include updates about the year and get the whole family to sign them for an extra personal touch.
2.Decorate cookies with candy from Carmazzi’s Candy and General Store
Making cookies is a great activity for all ages! You could make sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or even a gingerbread house. All the candy you could need for decorating can be found right in Urbana at Carmazzi’s Candy and General Store.
3.Volunteer at Caring Kitchen
Volunteering during the holidays is a great way to spread cheer and to help others have a great holiday too. You can volunteer with the Caring Kitchen in Urbana with meal preparation, serving, and clean up. They also take donations all year long!
4.Donate toys for dogs and cats to Barely Used Pets Rescue
Don’t forget about our furry friends this time of year. While they are waiting to find their forever homes the amazing people at Barely Used Pets in Urbana are keeping them warm and happy this time of year. You can donate food or toys to the shelter to give the animals an extra special holiday.
5.Drive around a see the lights caravan style
A fun way to get together with family while staying safe this holiday is to see lights around town caravan style. Everyone stays in their own car, but you can all experience the joy and magic of twinkling lights. Be sure to stop by Hemisphere in Mechanicsburg first for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!
6.Make a homemade gift
Making the holiday season extra personal this year will make it feel like you are closer than ever, even if you aren’t together. Try your hand at making a homemade holiday ornament to send to a loved one to let them know how much they mean to you.
7.Leave out treats for the delivery drivers (and Santa)
We all know that Santa loves cookies and milk but don’t forget about all the amazing delivery drivers that come to your house almost every day! Prepackaged treats and bottles of water will give them that extra boost and let them know you appreciate all their hard work of delivery all your gifts in time for the holidays.
8.Have an ugly sweater themed dinner night at home
You don’t have to have a party to don that ugly sweater hanging in your closet. Select a night of the week to get dressed up with your family, in your most festive gear, and enjoy a family favorite meal together.
9.Put together a holiday jigsaw puzzle
The holidays are all about enjoying time together. Find a winter themed puzzle that you like and spend time together completing the puzzle. This is a great way to relax, work together, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
10.Choose old toys to donate a local thrift store
This is the time of year for giving. If you have any gently used toys that are still in good condition, there are plenty of places you can donate them where another kid can treasure them for years to come.
3 Businesses to Move in Next Fall
Work on the $2 million project will begin in four to six weeks, says Joe Timm, Executive Vice President of True Inspection Services, LLC (TIS), which acquired the property in May from the City of Urbana. Plans by McCall Sharp Architecture are nearly complete, and bid packages will soon go out to local contractors, Timm said.
Once work is completed, TIS – a minority-owned, full-service commercial inspection, engineering and construction management company – will occupy the building’s second floor, moving from its current South Main Street location.
Community Health & Wellness Partners (CHWP), which offers a full range of primary medical care including behavioral health services in Bellefontaine, Indian Lake and West Liberty, will open a newly approved Urbana location on the first floor of 605 Miami St. by late fall 2021. The Health Resource Service Administration has also granted CHWP approval to open a school-based health center in West Liberty-Salem Schools in early 2021, CHWP President/CEO Tara Bair said.
The third business – The Door Shop, a commercial door and hardware distributor – will have light manufacturing and warehouse operations at the site.
The former Q3 JMC building is the fourth major vacant structure in Urbana to be given a new lease on life this fall. It joins the Douglas Hotel and the former Urbana North and South Elementary Schools, which are being restored and renovated for FC Legacy Place, a total of 51 affordable senior apartments.
“Both projects have moved forward thanks to strong public-private partnerships, of government and business working together to obtain the necessary funding and provide the expertise to bring plans to reality,” said Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Champaign County’s economic development agency.
Bailey credits the Champaign County Board of Revision for helping set the wheels in motion for the Q3 JMC project when it approved in 2015 the City of Urbana’s request to obtain the property free of unpaid back property taxes and other encumbrances after no one bid on the property at a sheriff’s sale.
The city took ownership of the 20-acre site in 2017, said Doug Crabill, community development manager who has managed the project for the city. After that the city pursued redevelopment of the property, to clear it of contamination and prepare it for development by new owners.
Bailey assisted the city in reaching an agreement with TIS, the city’s development partner, to oversee the site cleanup and redevelopment. “They were the only company that came forward with interest in renovating the building and turning the brownfield into a greenfield for business development,” Bailey said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to find an end user for the property because of the contamination that had to be removed.”
On behalf of TIS, Bailey wrote an application for a JobsOhio Site Redevelopment Pilot Program grant to help fund the work.
JobsOhio, encouraged by the number of community partners involved, awarded TIS a reimbursable grant of $883,947 to help cover the cost of demolition, environmental remediation, asbestos abatement, removal and disposal of waste, and site preparation. The city provided $348,435 in matching funds, and TIS contributed $116,145.
TIS has acquired 12.6 acres on the east side of the 20-acre redevelopment site, including the Q3 JMC building. The remaining portion of the 20-acre site is being readied to be marketed for business development, Crabill said.
Timm said TIS’s new location will “help take us to the next step in the growth of our company, to hire more personnel and expand our operations.” In addition, he said, some of the 12.6-acre parcel that the former Q3 JMC building sits on will be developed for sale to other businesses.
“The building will be an anchor for future development on the rest of the property, restore jobs lost when Q3 JMC closed, and generate tax revenue for our community,” Bailey said.
Kerry Brugger, Urbana’s director of administration, said, “We’re excited to see the building come back into productive use. It’s a great project for our community. It eliminates a severe safety and health nuisance for the community and will retain and create jobs.”
Of TIS, he said, “It’s been a pleasure working with them. They’ve been an excellent partner to work with.”