Board of DD exploring possibility of new facilities

April 4, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities is exploring the possibility of obtaining new facilities. At the last board meeting an ad hoc committee was formed to explore this possibility further.

“Things are very preliminary at this stage,” said Rodney Barnett, Chairman of Scioto County Board of DD.

He said the committee will be exploring a lot of options that may be available to the board. Barnett said he and the board hope to get the community involved in this process as it progresses.

The district may look into the possibility of replacing its facility at 2619 Gallia St, in Portsmouth, known as the Vern Riffe School.

“It depends on what’s available. At one time we had entertained the thought of looking at, and had the former superintendent, look at the facility in Franklin Furnace,” Barnett said. “We’re just keeping all options open at this point.”

Barnett said the reason the issue was brought to the board was the state of the 100-year-old building they currently occupy.

Bill Rockwell, Chairman of the Board of DD, Facilities Committee agreed with Barnett in saying they are far from firm plans adding that this ad hoc committee was just formed to explore the idea.

“We are in the very, very preliminary stages of putting together an exploratory committee to see what the possibilities are. We are miles away from doing anything remotely related to this,” Rockwell said.

He said the current facility has been well-maintained over the years.

“As a good steward of taxpayer dollars, we need to make sure we’re spending these dollars as best we can,” Rockwell said. “There comes a point, where you just can’t keep patching back together an old building.”

He said the current building is in wonderful condition despite its age.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at STAR Workshop, located at 2625 Gallia Street, Portsmouth. For more information about the services offered by the Board, call 740-353-8448 or visit the website

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.