BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) – Sheriffs from across the state gathered at the Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch on Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony.
The ceremony marked the start of construction on a peace chapel and four cabins. Leaders told News 10 plans are underway to have ten cabins in all. The work is being done by state inmates who have experience in building trades.
“The fact that four cabins and the peace chapel are going to be fabricated by our inmates and that cooperative effort in the community across the state I think is a wonderful collaboration,” Pam Blesch said.
Blesch offered remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of her mother, Wanda Froderman. The Froderman Family from Terre Haute has connections to the land where the ranch is located and wanted to give back. The family donated the money for the peace chapel.
“We wanted to provide a place, a safe place, where kids from all backgrounds, all denominations, could come and contemplate God and nature, since this is such a great facility to do that,” Blesch said.
The youth ranch will serve at-risk youth, kids who are interested in a career in law enforcement and young witnesses and survivors of crime.
Interim Executive Director of the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch Scott Minier said that the entire project is estimated to cost $3.4 million. Donations, grants and fundraisers are making the project a reality. Minier told News 10 that the addition of the cabins will be a benefit for law enforcement who use the property for training.
“We’re going to try to make use of this 365 days of the year,” Minier said.
He said the goal is to begin offering day camps for kids starting next summer.