Wabash, Ind. (August 12, 2020) – White’s Residential and Family Services (White’s) held a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Wednesday, August 12th at 10:00 a.m. to kick off construction of the new campus for their Compass Rose Academy (CRA). The planning and construction of this project is being led by Design-Builder, Michael Kinder & Sons (MKS). 

In 2012, White’s expanded their range of services by launching a parent choice therapeutic residential program for families in crisis. The need for these therapeutic services continued to grow exponentially, leading to the creation of Compass Rose Academy, a program where parents could directly access these critical services. Compass Rose Academy has been incorporated as a unique division of White’s due to the increasing need for therapeutic residential services, for teen girls specifically. With this rising demand, White’s decided it was time to expand their footprint for Compass Rose Academy, offering an entirely autonomous campus for its residents.

“The new campus for Compass Rose Academy will enhance our ability to carry out our mission to offer hope and transformation through Christ to teenage girls and their families. The collaboration with MKS has been a critical partnership to build this campus in a cost-effective manner while creating a state-of-the-art facility designed to facilitate healing and growth. There is not another facility in the Midwest that will be its equal and every aspect is designed with safety, healing, and growth as the primary drivers. We are thankful to have like-minded partners like MKS in creating this campus,” stated Ron Evans, President and CEO of White’s.

This new 5-acre campus will cost approximately $8 million, $4 million of which the board has self-invested. White’s created the “A Place to Grow” campaign to help raise the remaining half of the funds needed to complete the Compass Rose Academy campus. Funds raised through this campaign will allow Compass Rose to increase residential capacity from 20 to 48, once the entire project is complete, in Summer of 2021.

Doug Kinder, President and Co-Owner at Michael Kinder & Sons said, “Since 2006 Michael Kinder & Sons has partnered with White’s Residential and Family Services on expanding its footprint to share their faith-filled mission of impacting young lives in a place to heal and a place to grow. Breaking ground on Compass Rose Academy provides another spirited path for young ladies to find the support from the White’s community. Compass Rose is the type of project in which we take special pride. White’s is changing lives, one at a time! To play a role in that endeavor is very meaningful to the MKS team.” 

There will be a new staff housing building to accommodate the necessary additional staff members. A multi-purpose building will also be constructed to contain a nurse’s clinic, administrative offices, educational and therapy spaces to support each of the unique programs utilized within Compass Rose. The new campus will sit on the south end of the land owned by White’s but will have its own entrance and signage.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony is a commemorative tradition where the first day of construction for a building is recognized and celebrated by the businesses and people involved in the project. The turning of the first sod/dirt on the job site is completed with shovels, typically by community members and employees of the involved businesses. Members from White’s, MKS and MKM architecture + design, were in attendance, along with Wabash County community members and representatives from the Indiana Department of Child Services and the State Senate.

Mary Martin, a representative from Senator Mike Braun’s office, opened the Groundbreaking Ceremony by reading a letter from Senator Braun, expressing his excitement and gratitude toward the project and its mission. Following, Senator Andy Zay took the mic, echoing Braun’s sentiments towards White’s, CRA and the upcoming project. White’s President and CEO, Ron Evans, spoke next, with a brief speech affirming the significance behind the project. It was then Mike Haarer, VP and Executive Director of Compass Rose Academy, who spoke with great passion about the project and how it will positively affect the growth of CRA and its members for years to come. Finally, Grow Wabash County CEO, Keith Gillenwater, and MKS CEO and Co-Owner, Bill Kinder each took the microphone, one after the other, voicing their anticipation of the new-found campus and its impact to the White’s community and to Wabash County. Each person gathered, with shovels, hard hats, and face masks to participate in the traditional turning of the first sod on the jobsite.