BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Special Olympics Michigan is getting ready to celebrate another milestone in the development of its Unified Sports & Inclusion Center near Grand Rapids, billed as the largest facility of its kind in the world.
On Thursday, Disability Advocates of Kent County and Thresholds will hold a joint ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their new offices located in the Unified Sports & Inclusion Center — a building that was the former home of South Christian High School.
Disability Advocates’ new 8,600-square-foot space featured the region’s first Home Accessibility Center, which acts a showroom for contractors and families to see how existing kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms can be renovated to allow those with disabilities to continue living at home.
Disability Advocates is also growing from four office suites to 24 offices, 16 additional workspaces, two conference rooms and storage and break areas.
Thresholds, which provides support for adults with disabilities, is consolidating offices in two buildings with its new 7,5000 square-foot home. The space includes 14 offices, additional work stations, two conference rooms, a kitchen and meeting and consultation areas.
Disability Advocates and Thresholds join six other organizations moving to the Special Olympics Michigan campus to collaborate and become a destination for community services for children and adults with disabilities.
Special Olympics Michigan CEO Tim Hileman told News 8 Tuesday that Phase 1 of the project is about 85% complete but is now expected to wrap up around the end of July instead of May because of supply chain problems involving construction materials. Phase 2 work on the outdoor complex will start after that.
Hileman said Special Olympics Michigan has raised $9.1 million for the project, thanks in part to a record-setting Polar Plunge season, which generated approximately $1.5 million.
He said that despite inflation and supply chain problems driving up Phase 1 costs by 40%, the project is still on track to cost about $15 million to $20 million.
Thursday’s grand opening celebration for Disability Advocates and Thresholds will start at 4 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the campus at 160 68th St. SW, just west of S. Division Avenue.