Following a last minute outpouring of support, including a $25,000 pledge from Elaine Mellencamp, Middle Way House of Bloomington has met its fundraising goal of $4.6 million. The agency had to raise the money by midnight on Dec. 31 or lose challenge funds offered by the Kresge Foundation and a local philanthropist.
Middle Way House plans to renovate the old Coca Cola factory into a new emergency shelter, offices, and a day care as part of the agency’s New Wings Project. Executive Director Toby Strout says solar energy and green building are key to the initiative.
“We have a roof on which sits solar strips and upright solar panels and the upright solar panels are going to heat the water for our project and we expect it to heat all the water for our project,” Strout said.
There will also be heating boosters on the sanitizing systems in their kitchens. The solar strips are expected to produce about ten percent of the building’s electric needs. Other eco-friendly steps include installation of rainwater retention systems and rooftop gardens, as well as the use of recycled building materials.