LACKAWANNA, NY (April 21, 2015) - Bishop Richard J. Malone joined Baker Victory Services (BVS) President Msgr. Paul J.E. Burkard and Chief Executive Officer Terese M. Scofidio to break ground and officially begin construction on a new $16 million residential treatment facility on the BVS Martin Road Campus in Lackawanna. The latest development in the continuing evolution of programs begun by Father Nelson Baker, the new state-of-the-art facility is designed to replace cottages that were built in the 1950's and 60's, currently home to residents in the BVS RTF programs.
"Our staff always goes the extra mile to meet the needs of our residents, and this building is a 'thank you' to them," said Mrs. Scofidio. "They have done such tremendous things in our current facilities, I can only imagine what will be accomplished in the future. Our goal is that this new building will make their jobs easier and provide them with the resources necessary to support and nurture each one of our residents in the home they deserve."
Before leading a blessing of the worksite, Bishop Malone added, "The compassionate work that goes on here to serve these children who have no other place to turn, it demonstrates so powerfully the social teaching of the church."
The new building will consolidate three of the current cottages on Martin Road, and be home to up to 40 children and young adults ages 12 to 21. The plan incorporates modern safety features as well as a number of enhancements for residents including open air courtyards, common areas, and dramatic improvements to the security, heating and cooling systems. Two of the current cottages will be demolished following completion of the project.
Leadership at Baker Victory Services worked with officials in Lackawanna and across the state, including the New York State Office of Mental Health, as well as Tekon Design, Thornton Engineering and others to bring the project to fruition. Casilio Companies will be overseeing the construction, which is expected to last 13 months.
The BVS Martin Road Campus in Lackawanna began life under Father Nelson Baker as Our Lady of Victory Farm, providing food for the children at St. Joseph Orphanage as well as work opportunities for the "Baker Boys" at St. Johns Protectory. With the move away from large, institutionalized care in the 1950's, the cottages on Martin Road were built and the Protectory was torn down. Baker Victory Services' current RTF programs have been housed in the cottages at Martin Road since 1983.
"Since Father Baker's time, we've been constantly evolving to meet the needs around us," said Msgr. Burkard. "His first action was to take the bars off the windows at the Protectory and then he built the Infant Home and Maternity Hospital. And he did these things in the face of great resistance. While this transformation will be quite a dramatic improvement for the current residents, staff and neighbors of the campus, for us, we are simply continuing his legacy of caring for the children and families we serve."