After about a year of construction, the new Disability Resource Connection (Franklin County SB40) building in Union is complete and staff are in their new offices.

An open house at the new facility will be held Friday, May 3, from 2 to 6 p.m. with an official ribbon cutting at 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, Disability Resource Connection (DRC) Executive Director Tom Sinclair told the Franklin County Commission the 10,200-square-foot building came in just $4,000 over the original budget of about $1.9 million.

“We now have space for 25 employees at the new facility,” Sinclair said. “This also will allow us to consolidate two other facilities in other parts of the county.”

He added the new building will allow staff to have the proper offices to serve clients and families to respecting and following all medical privacy concerns and laws.

The new building will also provide better accessibility.

“The building we’ve been in for the past 15 to 20 years, wasn’t even handicap accessible,” Sinclair said. “Now that the building is up, we will work on having direct access to Highway 47 and additional parking.”

The building was constructed next to the existing facility at 1312 North Church St.

The new building is being financed through $1,000,000 in past earnings and a $900,000 loan through the United Bank of Union. 

Sinclair said the SB40 Board has 23 employees at the new building and is in the process of hiring two more.

The staff currently provide services to about 575 Franklin County residents with developmental disabilities. 

Seven construction companies bid on the project with T.S. Banze Construction being the lowest bidder.

Sinclair said both T.S. Banze and Cochran Engineering were great to work with on the project.

The project was funded by reserve funds, saved rent and operating expenses and a percentage of the tax funds proportionate to the office space utilized.

Services

Disability Resource Connection administers a portion of the property taxes designated to support individuals with developmental disabilities in the amount of just over $1.8 million annually. This tax revenue funds 10 service providers.

Medicaid reimburses DRC for case management for more than 70 percent of individuals who are Medicaid eligible and provides case management for the other roughly 30 percent of individuals who are non-Medicaid eligible without any reimbursement.

As the state of Missouri moves away from providing any services for persons without Medicaid, the SB40 Board and staff have made the decision to continue to serve the individuals without Medicaid.

Often, service coordination is the only assistance individuals with disabilities who are not Medicaid eligible receive.

Needs

Due to the continued growth of numbers of people served, Disability Resource Connection needed more office space to provide case management, be more accessible, hold private meetings and administer funding.

As a result of earnings from providing case management, the agency was in a position to build a new building. 

Franklin County SB40 Board of Directors considered three options before going out for bid to build a new building.

The options were move into the building already owned at 1312 Church St. (currently being leased to ABiLITY to provide services); convert the existing structure; or build a new facility.

After careful consideration of the costs to repurpose an existing building or upset services being provided, it was decided to build a 10,000-square-foot building completing the top floor and part of the basement (records area) and having room to finish the first floor to address future growth and community needs.