By Katie Garcia -  July 2nd 2024



 As KANDU Industries heads into the final phase of moving to its new facility in Milton at 15 Plumb St., the public is invited to a grand opening and ribbon ceremony Saturday, Sept. 28.

“It’ll be families, friends, city and county officials. It’s going to be a big deal. We’ve got a band, food trucks and all of our clients are going to decorate their rooms and get ready for it. We’re really excited,” KANDU Executive Director Kathy Hansen said. “We’ve had an arms-wide-open welcome by the Milton community. It’s been refreshing and feels so good. The clients absolutely love this building.”

After the first phase of moving into the former Blackhawk Technical College building in January, the final phase is set to be completed by Thursday, July 22. That phase includes moving such programs as day services for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the Increase Support Program for clients dealing with memory issues or physical impairments, and the rest of the pre-vocational production operation from the Adel Street location in Janesville.

“All three of those areas will be moving to our Milton facility, and we’ll all finally get to be under one roof in this beautiful building,” Hansen said. The organization liquidated five buildings and put the money into the new building. “We were able to come up with 50% of the money for a down payment for this building,” Hansen said.

Blackhawk Tech students officially moved out last Friday.

“It worked out really well. In fact, we kind of missed them a little bit because they were such nice people,” Hansen said.

Having KANDU under one roof allows for efficient day-to-day operations because the team doesn’t have to travel between buildings, Hansen said.

“We’re going to be able to see, collaborate and work as a team better. It’s always difficult when you’re in separate buildings and separate facilities. This building is providing us with 30,000 additional square feet from what we’ve had in the past. So we’re going to be able to grow our programs,” she said.

She projects that the day services program for people with Alzheimer’s and disabilities will be a “huge need” in Rock County. The production facility will also allow the nonprofit to expand to 40 jobs.

“With the increased size of the building, and just in the area we’re in, we’ll be able to not only serve Rock County, but also Jefferson, parts of Dane and parts of Green County,” Hansen said.

The expansion also will facilitate two new programs. One is a day service for people with disabilities and memory problems who might be more active, which lets them be out more in the community. The other is a children’s care program to support families with children with disabilities. These are part of the nonprofit’s long term goals.

“The wide hallways are so accessible, the windows in every room make such a huge difference for everybody. They just absolutely love it,” Hansen said.

As a nonprofit, the organization is always looking for donations and volunteers. For more information or to volunteer at the grand opening, contact KANDU at (608) 755-4123.

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