Selecting Kroc Centers…the process

From the desk of…

by Donald Bell, Lt. Colonel – 

The Salvation Army USA Western Territory announced today that six proposals for Kroc Centers have been approved and will receive funds to build and endow Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers.

The Kroc Center application process was very competitive. In April 2005, 19 comprehensive proposals were submitted to and reviewed by the Western Territory selection committee during the Feasibility Application Phase of development.

At the completion of this phase Commissioner Philip Swyers said, “The committee has identified eight locations with community needs that would be enhanced and impacted for good by the construction of a Salvation Army Kroc Center.” In June 2005, those eight proposals were pre-qualified to move into the Development Application Phase. During this phase, each of the eight locations submitted a budget, a program and facility design, a development timeline, and a transition plan. Final applications were received on April 3, 2006.

Throughout each of the competitive phases, the Kroc Center site selections were made based on how well the proposals met the following definition, goals and objectives:

The Definition: A Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center should consist of facilities and programs of superb quality that provide children, youth, families and individuals with character and confidence building educational, recreational, arts and other activities; and it should be a beacon of hope and an agent of change in an underserved community.

While Joan Kroc’s vision was clear, it was never limited. The Salvation Army anticipates that the Kroc Centers built around the Western Territory will be as diverse in appearance and approach as the communities they serve. Each center will include the facility and program components most directly responsive to the needs and desires of the community in which it is located.

Goal 1: To advance the mission of The Salvation Army

The spiritual ministry of The Salvation Army will be integrated with other services of the Kroc Center.
The center will be linked to existing and/or planned Salvation Army corps and social service ministries in the community.
The government and private support and collaboration in the development and operation of the Kroc Center is compatible with the mission of The Salvation Army.

Goal 2: To reflect the vision of Joan Kroc

The Kroc Center will encompass multiple program and facility components that address a variety of local needs and provide diverse opportunities for the community.

The Kroc Center will provide high quality personal development opportunities for young people, families and individuals in an inclusive manner, including education, recreation and arts activities.

The architectural design and construction will be of high quality, suitability and durability.

Goal 3: To use Joan Kroc’s funds expeditiously
and in a fiscally responsible manner

The Salvation Army currently owns or will be able to acquire the project site.

The project site and surrounding neighborhood are appropriate for development of a Kroc Center.

The Salvation Army has been awarded all required discretionary approvals of local government or has strong neighborhood and local government support for the timely award of these approvals.

Relocation, demolition, environmental mitigation, and site preparation requirements are reasonable.

Acquisition, construction and overall development costs are reasonable.
Committed local government and/or private support in the form of land and/or funds for the development of the Kroc Center are appropriate given the scale of the project.

A strong project development team is in place or planned at the divisional and local level, including a design and construction team with exceptional and relevant skill and experience.

Goal 4: To use Joan Kroc’s funds to respond
to local needs on a sustained basis

The project is accessible to and targets a population of children, families and individuals that is underserved and appropriate in size to the scale of the project.

The project elements are appropriate to the needs and interests of the community.

Sufficient new funds can be raised in the community on a sustained basis to cover the local share of operating costs.

A management team and direct service staff with exceptional and relevant skills and experience is in place or proposed at the divisional and local level.

During this second phase each applicant was asked to provide a description of the community and the need for the Kroc Center, to describe the program to be provided, and the site and status of site control, share their architectural design, provide information in regards to community support and involvement and capital and endowment fundraising status and plans, provide evidence of project sustainability, provide a plan for corps transition and planned ministry in the new center, and provide a development budget indicating the specific amount of development funds needed.

Work on proposals appreciated

Each of the proposals received represented hundreds of hours of thought and planning on the part of our local Salvation Army personnel and especially their community partners. I would like to salute the officers and community volunteers from each of the project sites and the ad hoc committee that gave of their time for the development of these centers in the Western Territory.

There is still much work ahead for the six sites that have been given approval. Over $50 million needs to be raised locally for both construction and endowment funds to support the new centers. Issues that need to be addressed, among others, include final property acquisition and preparation, program design and development, city and county approvals and transition of existing corps facilities to new locations.

There are no losers in this process. Each of the projects has raised the awareness of The Salvation Army in their respective communities. Each has recruited new community partners and advisory board members. Those locations not receiving distributions from the Ray and Joan Kroc estate, are positioned to conduct capital campaigns and significantly improve the facilities offering Salvation Army service in their community. Congratulations to all those involved in this process for work well done.

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