Restoration Rome ready to assume ownership of former Southeast Elementary School building

Thursday, March 28, 2024–1:30 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Restoration Rome is ready to take its next step.

When Southeast Elementary School closed due to consolidation with the new Anna K. Davie, the City of Rome entered into a lease agreement with Global Impact, which now operates as Restoration Rome. It was always understood that at the end of the lease agreement, Restoration Rome would end up acquiring the property. On Wednesday, Jeff Mauer with Restoration Rome asked the Rome Community Development Committee to expedite the purchase.

The committee voted to make a recommendation to the full city commission that the property be transferred to the Rome-Floyd County Land Bank Authority. Then it could be purchased by Restoration Rome.

“Basically, they will continue to do the model they set out to do and this just allows them to be a little ahead of the curve of where they want to be in the evolution of their organization,” said Rome City Manager Sammy Rich. “They are doing great work and it’s a great use of a taxpayer-owned facility, as Jeff said, to really put a dent in the foster care crisis in our community. I just can’t say enough about the good work they have done there.”

Restoration Rome is a first-of-its-kind hub for foster, adoption, and family service. Since moving into the former school building on Crane Street 2.1 million dollars of capital improvements have been made to the facility.

“That has taken us through three of the four phases of renovations,” Mauer said. “We are currently raising the money to do phase four, but due to building expenses, we have kind of put that on hold. The cost per square foot has almost doubled since we finished phases two and three, but we are still doing the programming that was going to go in phase four, we are just not going to do it in the new facilities.”

Restoration Rome serves around 700 families. When it began, there were 468 children in foster care in Floyd County. That number is now just over 160. Mauer said there are partnerships, including with the University of Georgia, which are expected to make Restoration Rome a model in other communities across the state.

“We’ve become an ambassador organization for the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, where we were bringing the Trust Based Relational Intervention model to Georgia,” Mauer said. “It’s a statewide, multi-sector, and current implementation of TBRI, and we’re doing that out of Rome. UGA is involved in that, and through the school of social work and the law school, we are connected with folks and programs throughout the state with TBRI. That’s actually led to kind of the reason I approached Sammy about moving up this timetable a little bit.”

According to the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development website:

TBRI is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. It uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is connection.

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