KAI joined representatives from Every Child’s Hope (ECH), a North St. Louis-based child services organization, for a groundbreaking ceremony held on Oct. 27 to celebrate the official start of construction on its William N. Dill Youth Development Center – the organization’s new hub for healing families and transforming communities.
KAI Design served as the architect on the project and KAI Build is providing general contracting services. The new state-of-the-art ECH Youth Development Center will be far more than just a building. Its 18,000-square-foot design integrates a new model of care where families can receive the treatment and services they need in a single location. ECH’s current 70-year-old residential facilities have become inefficient, outdated and insufficient in meeting the needs of youth and families and the programs that ECH provides.
“Six years ago, we began the process of evaluating the effectiveness of our residential treatment program and embarked on a journey to determine the best treatment model to help children and families heal from significant trauma,” said ECH CEO Michael Brennan. “I am confident that when this building is completed, it will be the premier facility in the state of Missouri, and probably around the country, in supporting traumatized children and families.”
The new facility, to be built on ECH’s St. Louis campus off St. Charles Rock Road, will accommodate short-term residential treatment for 30 youth while creating a new access point on ECH’s campus for hundreds of youth and families. The design includes 30 private bedrooms, family visiting rooms, and a safe and secure outdoor courtyard.
Based on best practices and building design research, the facility’s design also focuses on reducing stress and anxiety, improving treatment outcomes and creating a therapeutic environment for those getting and giving care.
“Through working closely with ECH’s board of directors and staff, we understood that family engagement in this type of facility is crucial to a youth’s healing process. So, we designed spaces that were both comfortable and private for families to spend precious healing time together,” said KAI Enterprises CEO Michael Kennedy, Jr. “We are so proud to have designed a facility that will have such a profound impact on transforming families and providing health, healing and hope to children.”
The facility is expected to be completed in 2022.