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Examiner
  • Drumm cottage getting a makeover

  • The foster family home program at the Drumm Farm Center for Children is expanding, and one of the key components is the renovation of Logan House.



    Built in the 1960s, Logan House has served as a dormitory and also for a short time as home to Independence Academy, before that alternative high school program was moved off the Drumm Farm campus.

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  • The foster family home program at the Drumm Farm Center for Children is expanding, and one of the key components is the renovation of Logan House.
    Built in the 1960s, Logan House has served as a dormitory and also for a short time as home to Independence Academy, before that alternative high school program was moved off the Drumm Farm campus. Brad Smith, executive director of Drumm Farm, said although families did live in the home over the last few years, it did not work well in accommodating large families.
    “Some of the work was actually done by the school district when Independence Academy was here,” he said. “It was then remodeled a second time when the academy left. It was just not suitable for a family. It did not accommodate a family’s needs well.”
    Drumm Farm was created in 1929 to provide family-style homes to children in foster care. It also serves as a center for services to foster care families in Jackson County. Logan House was gutted and redesigned as part of the remodeling project and will be licensed to accommodate up to eight children, although exceptions can be made for sibling groups. The basement features three bedrooms and a large family area as well as ample storage space. Upstairs are even more bedrooms, a large kitchen, dining area, living room, study and a two-car garage.
    Smith said the foster family home program is unique because children live in family settings on campus. He said this creates a safe and stable environment for children, many of whom have been continually disrupted with frequent moves.
    “Kids, no matter the situation, benefit from a family-like atmosphere,” he said. “They are more likely to succeed if they come from a stable family environment, which is what we are trying to create here.”
     Logan House is one of four buildings on campus that have been remodeled in the last several years. The others include the Director’s House, the gymnasium and the recently completed Swinney Hall.
    The public is being asked to help finish Logan House through donations. Drumm Farm needs eight counter-height bar stools, two sets of wooden bunk beds, four upright chests of drawers, a dining room table and chairs that seat 12, 10 metal storage shelving units, four night stands, an electric washer and dryer set, an upright freezer and gift cards for bedding and room decorations.
    The project is part of a larger long-range plan, which will continue later this year with work on the network of roads  throughout the property.
    One loop road will be constructed around the exterior of the property. With the construction of the new road, all of the interior roads that are now near the homes will be eliminated. A new parking lot will also be constructed on the south side of the campus near the gymnasium.
    Page 2 of 2 - Another piece of the first phase is a new front entrance for Drumm Farm. This entrance will line up with 32nd Street and create a safer location for a bus stop for the Drumm Farm children. An open-air structure will be constructed near the new entrance that will serve a dual purpose. During the week, it will be used as the bus stop, and on the weekends, it will house Drumm Farm’s popular farmer’s market.
    The final piece of this plan is to renovate Berkemeier House in the same fashion as Logan House. Once this project is completed, Drumm Farm’s capacity will increase from 36 to 42.
    Once these initial projects are completed, Smith said the goal is to construct four new homes. These homes will allow Drumm Farm to serve up to an additional 30 children.
    “What we have tried to do here is create an environment as family like and as neighborhood like as we could,” Smith said. “That is at the root of our mission.”
    For more information on how to donate to the Logan House project, contact Heather Saak, program manager at 816-373-3434 or by e-mail at heather.saak@drummfarm.org.
     
     
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