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Group eyes moving into old Doncasters building

POSTED: September 23, 2013 7:43 p.m.

A local organization is hoping to find room at the Effingham Industrial Park.


Representatives from BPEY asked the Effingham Industrial Development Authority about re-locating to the former Doncasters building. BPEY currently occupies more than 12,000 square feet in Rincon’s Towne Park.


“We are limited,” said Daniel Adkins, director of operations for BPEY. “We are ready to make Doncasters an offer.”


BPEY started with 4,500 square feet and has expanded twice, said Joe Marchese, who owns Marchese Construction and has worked on BPEY’s expansions of its current office space.


The group operates Zenith Training Institute, which prepares students to become certified nursing assistants, and other services, such as adult day programs and training for adults with developmental disabilities. It also conducts training in automotive technology training.


But the main question for the IDA is if the use BPEY has in mind is allowable under the covenants and restrictions in place for the industrial park.


“The covenants in phase 1 of the industrial park allow for manufacturing, warehousing, research and development and business offices,” explained IDA CEO John Henry. “It does not allow for vocational technical training. This use is contrary with the covenants and restrictions for that phase of the restrictions.”


BPEY could get a waiver from the board, but that could be a lengthy process, Henry continued. ValuPart received a waiver but that took months to obtain. The IDA referred the matter to attorney Ted Carellas, who was out of the country last week.


The IDA closed out the bond on Doncasters and transferred it last year. The building is about 48,000 square feet in size, and it is also the IDA’s only existing manufacturing facility.


BPEY has a staff of about 40, and CNAs are instructed by registered and licensed practical nurses.


“We foresee that employment to grow, once we get into our new facility,” Adkins said.


From January-June, 150 students have come through BPEY’s programs, according to its leadership.


“We offer a lot of commodities that are need,” said Precious Sonaike, BPEY executive director. “We think we can be a really, really good benefit for the community. What we offer keeps families in Effingham County.”


She added the organization works with its clients and students to customize their schedules. Students also are tested in their facility by state licensing organizations.


“We have had a very great success rate with the state,” Sonaike said. “Our passing rates are great. We have put out a lot of CNAs. Our phones are ringing off the hook.”


The group is planning to add 15 jobs and $750,000 in capital.


“I’d like to see some information on how plan to expand and what else you might offer,” IDA member Jimmy Wells said.
Adkins said they could have more information to the IDA in two weeks.

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