Two press releases back-to-back! First from the City of Decatur…
At its April 17, 2017 meeting, the Decatur City Commission voted to purchase approximately 77 acres of property currently owned by the United Methodist Children’s Home of the North Georgia Conference, Inc. (UMCH) for $40 Million. The property is located adjacent to the southeastern city limits of Decatur.
Mayor Patti Garrett said, “The purchase of this property fits with the City’s mission, vision and values and is an investment for current and future families and children. Garrett noted, “The City of Decatur is uniquely positioned to be the trustee of this resource and the purchase provides a long-term legacy for generations to come.”
Proceeds of the sale will help UMCH reach more children and families in crisis in new communities across North Georgia, according to Rev. Hal Jones, UMCH President and CEO. The sale terms include preservation of the historic Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring and naming the administrative building located near the gravesite in recognition of former Executive Director Bev Cochran.
It is anticipated that the UMCH will vacate the property by late summer or early fall, 2017. Once the City owns the property, the City will annex the acreage and begin a community-based master planning effort engaging nearby neighborhoods, UMCH alumni and other stakeholders to help determine a vision and plan for future use.
And the United Methodist Children’s Home put out this press release…
Responding to the growing needs of the children and families it serves, on April 12 the Board of Trustees of The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) agreed to sell the ministry’s 77 acre campus to the City of Decatur.
The Decatur City Commission approved the purchase at their April 17, 2017, Commission meeting held earlier this evening at Decatur City Hall. Proceeds of the sale – priced at $40 million – will help UMCH reach more children and families in crisis in new communities across North Georgia.
The sale terms include preservation of the historic Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring.
The sale also creates a preservation covenant honoring the unparalleled tenure of Bev Cochran, former CEO of UMCH, who led the ministry for 43 years, from 1968 to 2012. The City of Decatur and The Children’s Home agreed to name the existing administration building at 500 South Columbia Drive – which will remain in use by the City – in memory of Cochran, touching the lives of thousands of UMCH alumni, their children and grandchildren.
The City of Decatur will determine and announce its plans for the remainder of the property and its existing buildings and resources.
Rev. Hal Jones, The Children’s Home President and CEO, put the sale decision into perspective.
“Funds from the sale will help The United Methodist Children’s Home to greatly expand local, community-based ministries in towns and cities across North Georgia, in partnership with many more churches,” said Jones. “Since January, when the Board voted for approval of a sale, I continue to be energized by the decision which embraces the changing landscape in providing services to children and families while empowering UMCH to deliver on, and continuously improve, its important mission.
“We are grateful for the City of Decatur’s collaboration with us to preserve our historic Moore Chapel, which will offer our alumni, and others with strong ties to UMCH, a permanent place to celebrate and honor our history,” added Jones. “The determination of our UMCH Board, UMCH leadership team, and the City of Decatur leadership moved in harmony with voices of alumni, partners and neighbors, all of whom expressed commitment to preserving the great legacy symbolized by the Chapel.”
City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said the City of Decatur is uniquely positioned to be the trustee of this resource and the purchase provides a long-term legacy for generations to come.
“The purchase of this property fits with the City’s mission, vision and values and is an investment for current and future families and children,” said Garrett. “The City of Decatur will conduct a community-based master planning effort for the future use of the property once the sale is final and the city has possession of the property.“
It is anticipated that the sale will be closed and final in the summer, with the UMCH vacating by late summer or early fall 2017.
UMCH currently houses approximately 80 individuals on campus who are a part of the Family Housing and Independent Living programs. UMCH is committed to providing uninterrupted services and continued support to its residents and will work with them on relocations based on individual needs. In general, current and future residents will move from group home cottages on the campus to more modern, safe and appropriate housing primarily in DeKalb and Fulton counties.