Alzheimer’s Association alters plans

Sunday, April 30, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:40 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is one step closer to establishing a new resource center.

The organization previously bought land on July 1 on the north side of Buttonwood Drive, to build a new center and accommodate space needs.

Instead, association director Penny Braun said the board decided to buy a building at 2400 Bluff Creek Drive because it was more affordable. The group now operates in the Senior Center, but Braun said the space is insufficient.

“The new building looks like an Italian villa,” Braun said. “It’s a nice site at the right price. The new building is 5,400 square feet, and right now, the space that we have is only 1,400 square feet.”

Jeff and Barbara Glenn, who own Missouri Cotton Exchange at 601D Business Loop 70, on Friday afternoon closed on the purchase of the Buttonwood property from the Alzheimer’s Association. The Glenns hope to rezone the land for planned commercial use and establish a 7,500-square-foot retail screen-printing and embroidery business. City planners, however, have said industrial zoning might be more appropriate.

The Alzheimer’s Association in June 2005 received a $250,000 Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credit from the state to help pay for the new resource center. Peter Koukola, the association’s volunteer board president, said last June that the board would explore additional fund-raising opportunities.

Plans for the center are expected to be done in June, Braun said. “Gateway Mortgage is leasing the building until October, so we probably won’t be moving in until after that,” she said.

Braun said the decision to abandon the Buttonwood plan and buy an existing building on Bluff Creek Drive was “not directly related” to a forgery scheme discovered in an August 2005 audit.

Former association finance director Kellie Morris was sentenced to five years in prison in April after pleading guilty to three counts of felony forgery. She embezzled more than $96,000 from the non-profit organization. Morris had been writing checks to herself on behalf of the association to help pay off her credit cards.

Plans for the center began after a donation from the late Greg Stockard of Jefferson City.

“It will provide a new resource center, library with videos and print material, office space for staffing and will help directly with care consultations,” Braun said. “It is a wise investment that enables charitable organizations and local citizens to work together to meet local needs and solve local problems.”

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