TradeWinds shows off its new Hobart home
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent November 29, 2012 8:06PM
Guests walk past the area Thursday evening that will become the conference room for TradeWinds at their new facility in Hobart. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 1, 2013 6:25AM
HOBART — TradeWinds officials said its goal is to service more people once settled into its new home at East 83rd Place, which was opened to the public Thursday for viewing before interior remodeling work begins.
“We can do more for the people we service, but we need to expand, to grow. We have a lot of work to do on this building, a lot of construction to do,” TradeWinds board member Larry Alt said.
The agency that helps special needs adults and children through various programs and employment opportunities hopes to complete construction on the 55,000-square-foot building just off Colorado Street in fall 2013.
Extensive remodeling needs to be done to the interior to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CEO Jon Gold said.
Gold said the $3 million renovation should start in December. TradeWinds will soon be launching a capital campaign to raise the money.
Gold said he also would like to construct a second floor to the building, which would add another 12,000 square feet.
Gold said an anonymous donor purchased the $1.25 million building for the agency after costly issues with the current building made him think about the agency’s future. TradeWinds has been in a slightly larger building on West 7th Avenue in Gary for more than 50 years.
He said the layout of this building is more suitable to the agency’s needs.
Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor welcomed the city’s new resident.
“I thought, what a fantastic use of this building,” Snedecor said. “I like the fact that TradeWinds wants to call Hobart its home.”
The building launch was held in the future sewing room, where special needs adults make garments for the Department of Defense, including haz-mat suits, hospital uniforms and surgical pants, TradeWinds spokeswoman Connie Skozen said.
There also will be an area for production, work solutions and signs, where special needs adults will make signs, recycle computers and do other work.
“TradeWinds is going green. We’re disassembling computers and selling off scrap. It’s one of the most profitable items we have to put people to work,” Alt said.
Children’s services, adult services, administration, adult outdoor area and outdoor enclosed playground round out the areas.