Wednesday, Oct. 27

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Profoundly handicapped to return home
to Lincoln Estates
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[OCT. 27, 2004]  The ball is finally rolling after nearly a year and a half of hard work by the Lincoln Developmental Center Task Force. Four 10-bed homes will be built on the former LDC campus for developmentally handicapped people. The plan was approved last Thursday by the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, the state board that regulates health facilities.

The task force is paring down from their 21 members at this time so they can just focus on getting the homes built. It is expected the bids will be let out in December and that they will be breaking ground in January 2005.

The task force meets this next Monday at 10 a.m. at the ag building on the state fairgrounds to begin working on specs. Task force members are excited about their next meetings. They will be deciding exactly what they want in there. Those decisions were delayed until the plan passed the Health Facilities Planning Board.

Former LDC residents will be the first to be offered to locate in the new homes.

Three other state-operated facilities will also be added to the campus: a dental clinic, a crisis center and a senior living center. The dental clinic and crisis center will focus on meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities.

The dental clinic will offer specialized care and equipment for the severely disabled. The clinic will either serve central Illinois or possibly all of the state.

The crisis center will serve specifically for individuals who need specialized care.

The senior living center will be open to any qualifying senior meeting financial requirements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development already has money set aside for senior living in funds appropriated to the Illinois Housing Authority.

Portions of the 15-acre property will still be available. "It is up to the community to develop it," Mayor Davis said. "We will need to pool our resources and funding," Proposals must be submitted and approved by the state of Illinois. Rob Orr of the Lincoln/Logan County Economic Partnership is spearheading this effort.

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The following is a list of suggestions:

  • Corporate training and retreat center

  • State-of-the-art computer, information technology center and training facility

  • Tourism destination center

  • Health spa -- health care complex with state-of-the-art health, diet, nutrition facility
    -- residential and hospital facility for children and adults

  • Midwest College of Cosmetology, Lincoln College Normal campus has a waiting list.

  • Senior care -- partnership with Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital or Christian Homes, Heritage Enterprises

  • Mid-America/Illinois sports center -- Illinois Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Sports academy training center -- residential with academic program

  • Semipro football team -- The Lincoln Tigers are currently looking for a flat piece of ground to host their early summer to late summer games and practices.

  • Heartland Community College or Lincoln College -- classrooms and residence halls

  • Business incubators -- small office, light manufacturing

  • State of Illinois retirement home for former state employees

  • Generations of Hope -- Monday-Friday residential high school providing education for a pool of 70,000 Illinois foster children with behavioral disorders and learning abilities, teaching them skills to attain immediate employment and keep them off the Supplemental Security Income rolls after high school graduation

  • Budget money for a marketing plan for the remaining property at Lincoln Estates that is not to be developed (beyond the state-operated four 10-bed homes, dental clinic, crisis center and senior living center)

[Jan Youngquist]

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