Over the past several months, Saving Sight’s board and leadership have explored ways to best use organizational assets to sustain the impact of our programs in an increasingly competitive non-profit environment. As a first step in this process, four acres of underutilized property at Saving Sight’s Columbia location were listed for sale. A portion of proceeds from the sale were to be earmarked for building improvements in the outdated Columbia facility necessary to continue operations in the building.
Once the land was listed for sale, the Saving Sight team worked with a local real estate developer to conduct a facility analysis of the Columbia office. The report identified the building’s HVAC system would need to be replaced, the elevator replaced or decommissioned, the parking lot resurfaced and exterior lighting addressed just to improve some of the basic building functions. Through the facility analysis, it became apparent that the investment required to bring the building’s systems up to date and change building layout to improve workflow for local operations would be greater than the value of the building at the conclusion of improvements. Seeing a clear need for a more modern and usable space for operations in Columbia, Saving Sight’s board of directors voted to list both the Columbia building and land it sits on for sale at their December meeting. The board action was explicit that while the current Columbia facility should be listed for sale, Saving Sight will continue all local operations, including the Lions Volunteer Center, in the Columbia area. Those functions and staff members will simply be relocated to a different and more updated facility in Columbia that better meets the organization’s needs upon the sale of the current building.
We look forward to keeping Lions volunteers and other key local supporters up-to-date on the progress of the building sale and future site of our local Columbia operations as new information is available.