Boone County Family Resources could have a new home

Posted on 20 September 2018 at 6:46pm

COLUMBIA - Boone County Family Resources is just too big. Now, the agency wants a new building with more parking and more square footage. BCFR is asking the Planning and Zoning Commission for permission to change the approved plan. 

Robyn Kaufman, Boone County Family Resources Executive Director, said the agency currently has a staff of about 90 and only has 57 office spaces. 

"We have people doubled up in offices, there is a cubicle in our hallway, and we have some staff that are housed at our offices next door," she said. 

Kaufman said its current building does not have a big enough space to have a full staff meeting.

"This new building will be a great opportunity to bring everyone together under one roof," she said. 

Kaufman said MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc. currently owns the property but made a contract with Boone County Family Resources to take the piece of land off West Ash Street. 

"Our mission is to help people with developmental disabilities in the community to thrive and with this new building we will have more opportunities to do that," she said. 

People First of Boone County is one of the many organizations that use the agency's building.

"We are a nonprofit organization for people with disabilities, run by people with disabilities for people who cannot speak up for themselves or they need a helping hand," said People First of Boone County's vice president, Jason Mize. 

He said they are currently cramped in the meeting space and the new building would allow for more people to come to their meetings and get involved. 

"We can become more of a bigger family than what we are," Mize said. 

Jeff Johnson, People First of Boone County's president, said this new building would not just be good for People First but good for the whole community.

"It will be great for the staff but also will allow for more spaces to do training to help people in the community," he said. 

Johnson said People First of Boone County has been using the agency's building since 1998 and it will always hold a special place in their hearts. 

"We will still call 1209 Walnut home," he said. 

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing to review the changes in the approved plan at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

If the changes are approved, it will go to the city council in October and then it will be reviewed again in November.