By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – After spending the past month getting acquainted with its new home, the Kalin’s Center of Crockett is ready to open its doors and welcome the community.

An open house and ribbon cutting is slated from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 29 at the center’s new location at 201 Renaissance Way.

“We have special guests that have made this dream a reality scheduled to offer a few remarks regarding Kalin’s Center and to assist in the ribbon cutting,” said Kalin’s Center Executive Director Angela Cross.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be conducted by the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m. Friday, June 29.

According to Cross, the new building took roughly six months to construct and is located half a mile from the center’s former location at 1200 E. Houston Ave.

“We outgrew the old one,” Cross explained when asked what prompted the move. “We applied for a grant with Temple-Inland Foundation out of Lufkin and did this big proposal and everything, and we received a grant of $660,000 to build the building.”

The past month, Cross said, has been spent getting the new center filled with furniture and décor.

“It’s a huge building, so it’s been kind of hard to fill it up,” she said. “But we slowly but surely have gotten it almost filled up. It’s pretty much ready to go; we’re already doing business here.”

Those operating the center now have 5,000 square feet with which to do so, as opposed to the less than 2,000 square foot layout of the prior location.

According to a press release issued by the center, the extra space “allows us to now offer SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) exams for our clients. We will now be able to assist more clients in Houston and Trinity Counties and help prevent child abuse.”

In addition to upgrading to a larger facility, the Kalin’s Center has expanded its team to include a bilingual forensic interviewer and a community outreach coordinator.

“Our hope is to be proactive in educating our communities in the fight against child abuse,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Julie Lehr. “We need to empower our children with knowledge.”

The center’s former home, Cross said, will be up for sale in the near future.

“We’ve got to get it cleaned up first – we just kind of moved a bunch of stuff out and left it,” she said. “But we’re going to get it cleaned up and put it on the market, unless we have a buyer before then.”

Anyone interested in purchasing the building are encouraged to contact Cross at 936-545-9455.