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Children’s home sale finalizes Thursday

SELMA — The United Methodist Children’s Home and Concordia College will close on the 35-acre property on Broad Street Thursday.

The college will begin immediately transitioning the property for its use.

“We are so excited for the city of Selma and for the future of our ministry,” said Steve Hubbard, the children’s home president & CEO. “To have this deal consummated means that we have a greater ability to continue our expansion of services to children and families and that Concordia College will be able to make excellent use of the property to serve its growing body.”

Concordia President Tilahun Mendedo said the college will open more residential dormitories to accommodate 200 students, open a public book shop, a public coffee shop, a cultural preservation center and day care program for the community.

“This will open job opportunities and provide advancement for many Selmians,” Mendedo said.

On Tuesday night Mendedo asked the Selma City Council to support the college by endorsing Concordia’s application for a U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development grant to help rehabilitate the former administrative building on the children’s home campus into a community learning and enrichment center and implement a collaborative public service program with the city, county and local school board.

Plans call for the funds to provide services for the Children’s Museum of Selma, an after-school mentoring and tutoring service for students attending school performing below standards on the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress Report and a community health and wellness clinic to support local efforts to address medical issues, such as obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses affecting selma residents.

The UMCH Board of Directors began researching in 2006 the need to close its Selma campus to better serve the needs of children and families. This resulted in the decision to sell the property and move its headquarters to the Montgomery area.

“The sale of the Selma property will help put the investments made into our ministry toward serving more children and expanding in more areas in the future,” Hubbard said. “We will continue to operate eight group homes throughout Alabama and Northwest Florida to recruit and train more foster parents so that more children can be placed in their loving homes and to work with children still living in their own homes with hopes that their families can stay together.”