Sunday, November 26, 2000

Red Cross gets roomier, more visible digs

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN — The American Red Cross' new red brick building on Central Avenue downtown offers more space, increased visibility and permanent parking for its disaster vehicle.

        “We're on one of the main streets in Middletown, and visibility is really, really good here,” said Dana Sennet, executive director of the Middletown Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

        “We were perviously in a very nice facility, but it was located in the basement and there was no signage allowed.”

[photo] Dana Sennet, executive director of the Middletown-area Red Cross, works on moving into the new offices.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        The new headquarters, with signs and a green awning, cost $175,000. Chapter Chairman Al Karchner finalized the purchase of the R.W. Consultants Building at 1227 Central Ave. on Oct. 10, and the Red Cross moved in Oct. 31.

        “It's the beginning of a new era for our chapter,” Mr. Karchner said.

        Mrs. Sennet said the Red Cross needs to be visible in the community “as a reminder that we are here, that we're in your town working every day. Sometimes people think the Red Cross is just the Red Cross that goes to Xenia or Hurricane Hugo or the flood. ... Sometimes people forget that we're here every day.”

        The Red Cross will have 7,300 square feet in its new building, and plans to rent 1,500 square feet in a separate building. For the last four years, the Red Cross was housed in the lower level of the Middletown Area United Way building at Manchester and Verity Parkway, where the agency occupied about 4,500 square feet.

        The move provides the Red Cross with more room for its business office, which was previously in the hallway. Also, the education center and disaster area, which shared one room, will have separate space. And blood pressure screenings, now held in the City Centre Mall, will be transferred to the new building.

        The Middletown Red Cross has three full-time and two part-time staffers, as well as more than 250 volunteers.


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