Trillium Family Services has received a $2 million donation that will jump-start renovations at the Trillium Children’s Farm Home campus in Corvallis.
The donation, from Dave and Penny Lowther of Philomath, is the second-largest gift in the agency’s 130-year history. The donation also serves as the lead gift in a fund-raising campaign to improve facilities on the campus and build a new residential treatment center for teenagers suffering with mental illness who formerly were relegated to the Oregon State Hospital.
Trillium Family Services is a nonprofit agency that provides children’s mental health care programs and services. The agency has operations in the Mid-Willamette Valley, Portland metro and Central Oregon regions. The Trillium Children’s Farm Home houses Trillium’s psychiatric residential treatment programs for the Mid-Willamette Valley and for children statewide.
The Old School on the Children’s Farm Home campus, built in 1925, once was a center of life for the campus, which was founded as an orphanage in 1922. The building saw some use through the 1980s, but in recent years it has sat idle and boarded up, a victim of age, modern building codes and a lack of funds to renovate it.
The Lowthers’ donation will allow Trillium to either renovate the Old School or rebuild it to reflect the original Georgian architecture. The building will become badly needed office space, freeing room elsewhere on campus for clinical uses. The new building will be named to honor Dave’s mother, Hazel V. Lowther, an ardent supporter of local children’s causes who died in August.
Trillium’s overall goal is to raise about $10 million to $15 million for improvements at the Corvallis campus. The agency completed work on renovations to two residential cottages, a new school and new playground in 2004-05. Construction could begin as early as this spring on improvements to the cafeteria and gymnasium and a new covered play area.
Another goal of the capital campaign is a new psychiatric treatment center designed specifically for teenagers once served at the decrepit Oregon State Hospital in Salem. The state closed its psychiatric program for adolescents in 2005 and transferred the program to Trillium’s Corvallis campus.