Feature Photo (above): Aerial photo taken in December of the demolition work on the Main Building. Courtesy: Hendrick Home for Children.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Abilene (Taylor County) — No fooling, with site preparation nearly done, construction on the new main building at Hendrick Home for Children will start coming up and out of the ground by April 1, according to a recent filing by the design firm.
CADCO Architects-Engineers Inc. of Abilene gave notice Feb. 21 to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation that construction on the new main building will take place from April 1 to June 30, 2020.
The revised estimated cost was reported as $16,125,000. Earlier media reports had put that cost at $15 million.
CADCO also stated the scope of work included a total area of 55,450 square feet. That is substantially larger than previously reported. When the Hendrick Home for Children announced its capital campaign in October 2017 for a new main building and other improvements, the main building footprint was to have expanded from the original 41,110 square feet to 48,300 SF.
The capital campaign set a goal of raising $25 million, but that included the construction of other buildings. In 2018, two cottages of 8,500 square feet were built, growing the cottages on campus to six. The cottages were built by Lubbock-based Collier Construction Company at a cost of $3.2 million.
The new main building is to include include 12 family care suites, four college apartments, a grand dining hall, kitchen, activities room, elevators, heritage display, pantry storage, board room, two supervisor apartments and administrative offices.
Concept rendering of the reconstructed Main Building. Courtesy: Hendrick Home for Children, CADCO Architects-Engineers.
Other campus improvements included renovations to two existing cottages, construction of a larger maintenance building and new storage facilities.
The two-story main building first opened to the public in June 1939 and its façade is considered historically significant. Demolition on the main building began in late November of last year, but precautions were taken to save the façade and salvage some building materials from the remainder of the complex.
Out of respect to the founders, CADCO was instructed to mimic the design of the original structure. Other than building on a larger scale, the main difference will be a building that complies with modern building codes, makes more efficient use of space, and is much more cost effective to operate owing to the installation of energy efficient utilities and other green building features.
The genesis of Hendrick Home for Children was a response to the effects of the Great Depression. The founders took in children to could not live with their families. Today, through its Basic Care program, Hendrick takes in children as young as age 5, provided they do not have severe psychiatric issues, and may house them through their college years. The organization also provides a Family Care program for single parents in crisis.
Rear view of the original Main Building prior to the demolition. Courtesy: Hendrick Home for Children.