On Tuesday, the Blair City Council formally approved the replat of two lots on the former Dana College Campus.
The lots have been targeted by Easterseals Nebraska for its respite camp for individuals with disabilities. On the land, Easterseals plans to build cabins, recreational features, a welcome center and everything that gives the authentic feel of a summer camp while being accessible for all.
Easterseals has been looking a permanent home for its camp since 1999 and Angels Share, which owns the portion of Transformation Hill on which Easterseals hopes to sit, has been looking for a worthy cause for the land for a number of years. It's difficult to think of a better fit for both.
The partnership between Easterseals, Angels Share and Blair benefits each entity while providing an invaluable opportunity for involvement and equality to individuals across the state.
With Easterseals, Blair welcomes an organization that believes all are worthy of inclusion and access to work, learn and live quality lives. The national organization assists 1.5 million individuals each year through its program and one of its major assets in each state is the camp.
The plans call for the construction of several features and buildings, which develops land that hasn't been touched for a number of years. The presence of Easterseals and the positivity of the project has the potential to start a snowball effect. Seeing the potential in the Dana campus could lead additional businesses and organizations to look at available property on the hill.
If others follow Easterseals' lead, the Dana campus could once again bustle with the life and energy it did before the college closed.
And for Easterseals, the property provides a permanent home in an area that offers health, educational and recreational services while being within proximity of a major metropolitan location. The location is accessible to much of the state and the property is a blank slate that will allow Easterseals a canvas on which to execute its dreams.
The vision of Easterseals is cause for celebration. Its mission is one of positivity and hope and its ambition will help answer at least part of the unanswered question of what to do with the former campus.
The City of Blair, Angels Share and all involved with the partnership are also owed thanks for recruiting an organization that not only wants to build, but do so to make a difference.
Plans are in place, intentions have been made clear and now we wait with anticipation as an ambitious dream by some turns into an exciting reality for many.
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