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Baddour Center Holds Open House Celebrating Building The Best Life Campaign

On August 27, 2021, The Baddour Center held an Open House showcasing two new and two renovated homes as part of the Center’s Building The Best Life Comprehensive Campaign. To date, Baddour Center has secured approximately $8 million toward their $17 million campaign goal. 

The Baddour Center is a 120-acre residential community in northwest Mississippi that provides the necessary infrastructure to support a full, daily life for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. Baddour Center serves individuals through a spectrum of offerings, including housing, personal care, vocations, recreation, and opportunities for connection and growth spiritually, intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

In support of its mission, Baddour Center completed a comprehensive master plan in 2017, striving to enrich the quality of life for residents, upgrade the campus appearance, strengthen the organization’s financial health, and enhance campus operations. The Building The Best Life campaign formally launched in 2019 to meet the financial goals needed to achieve the master plan. 

Baddour Center staff and families, community leaders, contractors, architects, and Board of Trustee members attended the Open House, which celebrated completion of the master plan and campaign’s first phase.

Parke Pepper, Executive Director of The Baddour Center, kicked off the event, sharing the vision behind the Master Plan. He emphasized the impact of the Building The Best Life campaign on the quality of resident life. 

“Successfully completing the residential phase of the Master Plan will positively impact several generations of Baddour residents,” said Pepper.  “A complete overhaul of all resident homes will be the exclamation point on an already beautiful campus.”

AERC PLLC of Hernando, MS, led by Doug Thornton, designed renovations of the two original homes and are designing and overseeing the next phase of home renovations.  

The newly-constructed homes showcased during the Open House represent the purposeful approach taken by Duvall Decker Architects PA of Jackson, MS who designed the living space. Roy Decker and his team held listening sessions with Baddour residents and staff to learn how the spaces would be used. 

“These homes are responsive dwellings for residents with intellectual disabilities," said Decker. "This was truly a collaborative search for a pair of very special homes.”

Both firms consulted with Cathy Purple Cherry of Purple Cherry Architects and Interiors from Charlottesville, VA to ensure that their designs captured details and nuances that enhance living spaces for people with autism.  The space plan, special lighting features, textures and colors provide a therapeutic effect for people whose environment can be overwhelming because of noise, harsh lighting and lack of private space.  

“Baddour Center is a very socially engaging and community-minded place; however, every person needs his or her own space to which to retreat,” said Pepper. “We all sometimes need peace and quiet.  All of these homes are being designed with that important point in mind.”  

Baddour Center also received architectural consultation from Chris Starkey of Menlo Park, CA and Alfie Vick of Athens, GA.  F&F of Memphis, TN was the general contractor for all four homes. 

Following lunch, two of the homes were formally renamed. A newly-renovated ladies’ home, long known as Senatobia Home, is now the McPherson Home, named in memory of former TBC resident Frank C. “Buzz” McPherson, Jr.  Buzz was among Baddour’s original residents, and through his own estate, as well as his family, donated the seed gift leading to the formation of this very campaign.

Additionally, a newly-built men’s transitional home is now named in memory of Myra Trail Crowe. Mrs. Crowe had several unique connections to Baddour Center, and her daughters Elba Crowe Barnes and Edna Crowe Carroll attended the Open House and met with the men currently living in the Crowe Home. In a very touching moment, they presented the gentlemen with a portrait of their mother for the home. 

“These renovations and new-builds will undoubtedly help Baddour better leverage itself among intentional communities nationwide,” said Pepper of the campaign and its long-term goals for sustaining The Baddour Center.

Most importantly, the new and updated homes have been met with enthusiastic approval from Baddour Center residents themselves. 

As Pepper puts it, “It’s hard to compare or replicate that feeling of pride when moving into a new home.  It simply picks up your spirit.”  

Plans for the next phase of the Building The Best Life campaign include completion of a renovation of the Center’s 20-bed, licensed Assisted Living Facility and renovations of three more original homes.