SADI to launch capital campaign

Monday, August 20, 2007
Construction was underway on a new 10,000-square-foot office building for the SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence at 1913 Rusmar St. in Cape Girardeau. The organization plans to start a campaign next month to raise funds for the project. (Aaron Eisenhauer)

Starting next month, the SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence will ask for help from the community to help finance its new facility currently under construction on Rusmar Street.

SADI broke ground on the new $862,000 facility at 1913 Rusmar St. in March on a $70,000 plot of land that's already paid for. SADI executive director Miki Gudermuth said the building is being paid for by a loan guarantee with First Community Bank. But Gudermuth said SADI hopes to raise enough money through its upcoming capital campaign to knock about five years off the 20-year loan.

The not-for-profit hopes to raise $250,000 from Sept. 10 through March, Gudermuth said.

The drive will be a way to see how much community support exists for SADI's programs, which assist the disabled with in-home services, transportation and some medical equipment needs like wheelchairs and other goods.

SADI currently pays about $34,000 per year to lease space in South Broadview Plaza that is much too small for the current staff, Gudermuth said. Some office members share cramped spaces while others are placed in copier rooms. SADI has to rent storage for some of its medical equipment on Route W. On top of lease costs are insurance costs -- including $6,000 to $8,000 of the landlord's insurance premium -- and maintenance, Gudermuth said.

The new facility will be 10,000 square feet and sit on 1.89 acres. SADI has already put a down payment on another 2.3 acres next to the building site for future expansion.

Gudermuth said SADI will see savings over time by building instead of leasing. If the organization were to lease office space today, it would probably have to pay about $12 per square foot, instead of the $7 per square foot it's paying now.

Letters will be sent out to businesses early next month to inform them of the capital drive and ask for assistance, Gudermuth said. As part of the drive, donors will have the options of purchasing memorials on a "wall of caring" in the new offices, she said.

SADI has experienced huge growth since Gudermuth started the agency as a one-woman operation in 1987. Today, the organization serves Cape Girar-deau, Scott, Bollinger, Perry and Mississippi counties and the city of Sikeston. Gudermuth said demand for SADI services will probably continue to grow in the future.

"There will always be a lot of needs, and with the baby boomers the need is going to be there even more," she said. If the capital campaign succeeds and the building loan is paid off sooner, Gudermuth said the money can be diverted to expanding SADI services, such as starting an interpreter service for the deaf and expanding transportation services.

335-6611, extension 182

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