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TOPIC: The former Glen Dale Children's Home
OUR VIEW: Opportunity exists at the property
It once was something quite special at 2125 Gilead Church Road.
Youngsters saw their lives changed and saved by one-time strangers. Under roofs, young people were receiving much needed structure and guidance. They learned a work ethic and a love and respect for the person next to them, and in front of them.
It was that way for decades and thousands of children were provided an opportunity and foundation needed to rescue many of them from a life of despair.
Then in 2009, it all ended for the Glen Dale Children’s Home. The doors were closed with Sunrise Children’s Services moving operations to a new location on Springfield Road in Elizabethtown. Instead of using multiple structures on the 13-building campus, residents now are under one roof.
We get that.
But there are so many words to now describe what currently exists off New Glendale Road, one one-half mile from Gilead Baptist Church.
Sad. Tragic. Shameful. Unbelievable. Sickening. Why? Disgraceful. Unacceptable.
It all comes to mind and most people can relate. Imagine if it was the house you grew up in, where you shaped your life and then a handful of years later it was a decaying building?
A wilted “No trespassing sign” is posted at 2125 Gilead Church Road but few abide by it. The buildings have been ransacked with broken doors serving as entrances and exits. Glass litters the floors, as does old clothes and books. Holes litter many of the walls and air conditioner units have been gutted.
There has to be something better than this for the property. With the Glendale industrial megasite close by, it would seem like an ideal location to go side-by-side with a potential company.
While it is easy to see the destruction of buildings, opportunity also can be seen for someone to take the land and turn it into something special once again.
Maybe this time the land is an economic boon with hundreds of jobs? Maybe this time it’s a senior citizens center? Maybe this time it’s property for a new school location?
Maybe this time, whatever ends up there, it mirrors all the great deeds and successes that the Glen Dale Children’s Home provided for decades and the legacy that continues in its new location.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.