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HYRUM — After eight years of discussion and extensive planning, the Child & Family Support Center broke ground for the renovation of the Hyrum location Wednesday.

The 2,100 square-foot addition will provide space for a nursery with a kitchen and bathroom, as well as classrooms for counseling and educational services. The center will also have the ability to offer classes and workshops in English and Spanish for parents and children, a service that has been offered at the Logan location for more than 30 years.

“We are celebrating not only an addition to this building but a new chapter in the history of the Child & Family Support Center and a new chapter in this history of Hyrum and the southern end of our valley,” said Esterlee Molyneux, the center’s executive director.

Last year the Child & Family Support Center’s Logan facility served 15,000 people with a staff of 22. Molyneux said demand for the center’s youth programs has grown dramatically.

Almost a year before Wednesday’s groundbreaking was the ribbon cutting ceremony for opening of the Hyrum location, bringing the center’s services to the southern end of the valley. For Molyneux, this renovation will expand the reach of needed programs for children and families in the area.

“What we’ve found is that families that are (in) the south end of the community are not traveling to receive our support,” she said. “And with growing populations and increased rates of child abuse, and after a needs assessment, it makes a lot of sense to be located in the community so families can access services easily.”

Karen Allison, a family educator at the center, also said renovation will make the evening classes for both parents and children easier to access. Some families have difficulty driving to Logan in the evenings for various reasons.

“I really think it’s going to make a big difference out here,” Allison said. “They won’t feel like they have to drive all the way to (Logan).”

It is estimated that the renovation will be completed in March 2015 through the partnership of local legislators, the center’s board of directors and Hyrum city. Molyneux said it will cost $200,000 to complete; $120,000 has already been raised in donations. During the ceremony, several companies, including JBS and Summit Creek Sinclair in Smithfield and several others, presented donations to the cause.

Donations in funding, time or materials are greatly appreciated, Molyneux said.

“We are hoping and praying to pull in volunteers and service groups in the community so they can be part of something big and amazing and to leave their mark on the community and to help construct this facility, which will help not only families for today but for generations to come.”

Rep. Ed Redd (R-Logan) participated in the ceremony. As a physician who works in the Cache County Jail, he said, he sees the good the Child & Family Support Center can do for the community.

“What I see is oftentimes the result of failed families and situations that didn’t work out as well as they could have, and I think this is a great effort to try and prevent problems rather than trying to treat them after they’ve happened.”

For Molyneux, the importance of these services is growing with the increase of cases of child abuse in the valley.

“The fastest-growing crime in Cache County are sex crimes against children,” she said. “We are working to mitigate that, and we do that through education, through support — working to prevent that from happening in the first place but providing services for when it does happen.”

To donate to the building renovation, visit www.childandfamilysupportcenter.org.

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