CDC Resources' current Rensselaer facility at 1320 E Angelica Street would not exist if it were not for the late Wallace Laird. When CDC sought to improve its services in the 1970s with a new building, Laird, who served on the CDC Board of Directors and as President of that Board, arranged a land swap that gave CDC it’s four acre campus on the east end of Angelica. Before its new building was completed in 1979, CDC had provided services from several locations, including from the old Jordan School on SR16 and the former Rensselaer HS. The naming of the new fitness center at the Rensselaer office in honor of Wallace Laird is in recognition of the key role he played at a crucial juncture of CDC's history.I knew Wally Laird largely because he taught a few in economics classes at SJC when the department was short staffed. He was a person for whom first impressions were deceiving. It took a while to realize how much he did and how involved he was in a great many activities and endeavors.
The Laird Fitness Center provides CDC consumers easy access to common fitness center equipment. Many of these consumers get little exercise in their daily lives and consequently suffer the health consequences of inactive lifestyles. The Laird Fitness center includes common fitness center equipment, including steppers and treadmills, built to commercial standards. The equipping of the Center was funded by grants from the Newton County Community Foundation, Jasper Foundation and Jasper County REMC.
CDC Resources provides services to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults in five area counties. The Rensselaer facility on Angelica Street serves over 230 individuals from Jasper, Newton, and Benton counties. Day Services, which occupies over half of the building, combines contract work for area industrial customers with training on daily living skills and recreational activities. The building also houses Heartland Employment Services to assist individuals with disabilities to get and retain community jobs, accomodates Community Waiver/Respite Services staff who support individuals in the community as well as the management team for maintaining two Rest Parks on I-65 for the state.
A ribbon cutting for the Laird Fitness Center will take place this Thursday, March 27 at noon (CDT) at CDC Resources Center at 1320 E. Angelica Street in Rensselaer. Refreshments will be served and tours of the center will be available. Join us for the dedication of an exciting new program development named in honor of a man who made a difference.
CDC Resources has now has more likes on Facebook (681) than Rensselaer Adventures (680). Not too long ago they were 100 likes behind. However, Rensselaer Adventures is three ahead of the Greater Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce (677).
In other news, Thursday's Rensselaer Republican report on a house fire caught my attention because the address--706 Milroy--was my address for the 1974-75 school year, the first year I was in Rensselaer. The damage was not visible from Milroy Street, but the paper reported that the kitchen area was a total loss and the rest of the house had heat and smoke damage.