Effective Jan. 16, the McDuffie County Human Development Center will move its operations into the Boys & Girls Club facility at 221 Pecan Ave.
The McDuffie County Board of Commissioners discussed the move at a meeting Dec. 20 at which Commissioner Sammie Wilson expressed concerns about the issue. He said they had discussed the move at previous meetings but the dialogue never culminated in a decision or a vote.
The human development center employs three people, including its director, Kimberly Ivey.
Several employees who are affected by the move attended the commission meeting to address their concerns, primarily that the space is too small to accommodate both offices and that they are unsure whether they will remain county employees.
Commission Chairman Charlie Newton said the location change was implemented to put them in a better space and offer additional programs, not to fire anybody.
Human development center employees will continue to work for the county, with the only change being the facility from which they operate, said County Manager Don Norton.
“It might be good to coordinate those programs, as a lot of their services overlap in some form or fashion,” he said.
The center previously shared a building on White Oak Road with the McDuffie County Office of Elections and Voter Registration.
“The plan was to get out of that building,” Norton said.
“It’s not a very good building, and we have some problems over there, like mold and rodents.”
The elections department is in the process of moving to the old courthouse on Main Street.
A meeting has since been held to allow human development center employees and county officials the opportunity to discuss the particulars of the move.
“We’re still concerned about the space, especially with the other programs we have going on,” Ivey said.
She said they still have to decide where to house their food pantry, which will continue to operate from the White Oak Road facility until plans are made.
The center’s after-school program will combine with the program run by the Boys & Girls Club to provide homework help and other services for area students.
“My hopes and my prayers are that it will work out,” Ivey said.
“I hope that it will work out for the best for each person, and I pray that it will bring more people together as far as the Boys & Girls Club.”