After decades of operating from the building at 1025 S. Outer Park Dr. in Springfield, The American Red Cross Serving South Central Illinois Chapter is preparing to move to 769 S. Durkin Dr.

“We have been on the hunt for a new home for quite some time. The current space is too big,” noted Dawn Morris, executive director of the South Central Illinois Chapter. “The shift to a smaller, more efficient space means that we can put more energy into other areas. We need to put our funds into people, not the building,” she said.

Morris said that while the physical space will be smaller, no staff reductions are planned. The region also has approximately 1500 active volunteers on call as needed.

A lease has been signed for the Durkin Drive space and it will be open to the public on Oct. 1 for activities such as volunteering, classes and board meetings. In the meantime, the staff is cleaning out the existing location, which will be listed for sale in the near future.

Michael Higgins, president of the MacArthur Boulevard Association, said, “Sometimes change is good, sometimes it’s bad. Hopefully this will continue to be good for the neighborhood,” noting that community groups have been able to use space in the current building. “A lot of community organizations use that space for meetings, so hopefully the new owner will be able to continue that,” Higgins said.

“This decision is an excellent example of our on-going commitment as good financial stewards of donor dollars,” says Lyn Hruska, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois regional executive. “We’re confident this direction is the right direction as we look to the future. We’re committed to this community and that will not change.”