The doors for the new ResCare Center for Achievement opened to developmentally disabled clients on Monday.

The doors for the new ResCare Center for Achievement opened to developmentally disabled clients on Monday.

Northview Developmental Services, from which ResCare leases its Newton facilities, put up about $440,000 to build an addition to the center’s life-skills building.

With an addition of 3,860 square feet, the project doubled the space available at the center.

Before the new center opened, life-skills classes were split between the 14th Street campus and a day center in a store front in the 100 block of West Sixth Street.

The additional space will allow all these clients to be served in one location.

This should cut down on transportation costs, as ResCare will have to deliver clients to two centralized locations instead of three, said Troy Rasmussen, Newton ResCare executive director.

The design for the life-skills building is an open format to allow for more flexible use of the space, he said.

A variety of life-skills classes for the developmentally disabled will be taught at the center, including reading, sewing and computer.

The outdated fixtures, furnishings and appliances in the existing life-skills building also were updated, Rasmussen said.

The addition also included construction of a storm shelter on the property.

The project was paid for by Northview Developmental Services, which sold its direct-care services to ResCare in 2006 but retained ownership of the buildings it now leases to ResCare.

Funds for the expansion were raised between 2004 and 2006 in a Moving Forward Capital Campaign. All the money from that campaign was used for the construction of the addition.

Northview had hoped to build a new building, but when fund-raising fell short, the money that was raised was used for the expansion project.

About 60 people will be served in the new center, although there will be room for expansion of the program. The building can accommodate up to 100 people.

However, Rasmussen said ResCare has no immediate plans for further expansion.

Rasmussen said he did not know what would become of the building on Sixth Street, as the building was leased from a private individual.

Members of the Northview board attended an open house for the addition Friday.

“I think the board was pleased with the addition,” said Mona Krievins, past president. “It was completed ahead of schedule, and we heard a lot of anticipation and excitement from the people who will be using the building.”

Northview will continue to function as a non-profit, putting most of its effort into the improvement and maintenance of the property it owns on 14th Street, Krievins said.

The organization has retained its non-profit status and continues to raise money in hopes of eventually making improvements to the 14th Street campus’ greenhouse, which is used for horticulture therapy for ResCare clients.

Anyone wishing to donate to Northview can do so by mailing P.O. Box 646, Newton, KS 67114.