GRAND RAPIDS, MI, APRIL 3, 2023– The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter (ABC/WMC), along with ABC member, Lakewood Construction, visited Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center with Senator Nesbitt to highlight the work of local contractors supporting the community.
‘It was a privilege to tour Safe Harbor’s new facility in Allegan with Lakewood Construction,” said Senator Nesbitt. “I’m inspired by how merit shop contractors give back to West Michigan, and I am proud of the work they do to support their communities.”
Since 1983, Safe Harbor has been providing a lifeline to child victims of abuse. It is the only organization in the community able to provide all of these services under one roof at no cost to the victims or their families. Safe Harbor offers children the hope, help, and healing they deserve by partnering with law enforcement, child protective services, the prosecuting attorney’s office, and medical providers.
“Lakewood listened to our needs and provided a beautiful design that is functional and practical but also provides children a welcoming environment to share what happened to them and begin their healing journey after abuse.” Said Lori Antkoviak, Executive Director, Safe Harbor.
The design of the building incorporates many elements that provide security, safety and privacy while creating a healing environment. The facility includes two interview rooms where victims are interviewed by law enforcement and child protective services. It also features a family conference room to meet with prosecutors and social workers as well as a waiting area for family members. Additionally, there is an
Creating a space where child victims can feel safe was critical and the number one priority for Safe Harbor as they designed and built their new facility in partnership with Lakewood Construction.
“‘Every element of what we do, from design to project completion, is done with intentionality,” said Nick Nykerk, President of Lakewood Construction. “Lakewood is a builder of teams, and we develop strong relationships with our clients. Our team worked side by side with Safe Harbor and was meticulous with every detail to ensure the children coming through the doors would feel safe and comforted.”
Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center launched a capital campaign titled “Lighting the Way” to raise funds to enhance the facility that they provide essential services in. Throughout the campaign and construction process, the community became highly invested in the work and outcome of the facility.
Several ABC members were involved in the project in different capacities. ABC member, Ritsema Associates, donated the proceeds of their annual company golf outing to Safe Harbor’s capital campaign. The following ABC-member contractors were involved with the construction of the new facility:
- Century Flooring & Cleaning
- Distinctive Group Inc.
- Fence Consultants
- H.L. Bolkema Decorating
- Intext Concepts, Inc.
- Landscape Design Services, Inc.
- Macatawa Plumbing Inc.
- Premier Caulking, Inc.
- Quality Air Heating & Cooling
- S.A. Morman & Co.
“Organizations like Safe Harbor rely on community partners to succeed, and we are honored to have been a part of building a place of hope and healing,” said Nykerk.
“The level of care for their clients and the collaboration with other ABC Members is what builds strong communities,” said Senator Nesbitt. “I am grateful to ABC for highlighting this story, and I am confident there are even more stories like this to be told.”
About ABC Western Michigan: ABC Western Michigan is a non-profit construction trade association that fosters the principles of freedom of choice through the merit construction philosophy. ABC members build commercial buildings, industrial plants, municipal and public works projects, roads and highways, homes, and provide a wide array of construction services. The organization strengthens the construction industry by advocating on behalf of its members, offering educational and training opportunities, and providing cost-saving strategies in order to support and defend the merit shop philosophy and open shop contractors. The West Michigan Chapter has over 400 members and includes all of the Western Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @ABCWMC.