Chaplaincy dedicates land for Richland building

RICHLAND -- Supporters of The Chaplaincy gathered Wednesday at the Spaulding Business Park in Richland to dedicate land for a new administrative building for the nonprofit and to ask God to bless the work being done there.

"Lord of all creation, this is more than a building dedication," Chaplain Tim Ledbetter read from a written blessing. "We thank you, God, for this new building. We dedicate it and the work that will be done here to your kingdom and your glory."

The Chaplaincy provides in-home hospice care to an average of more than 100 patients and their families each day, as well as running a 10-bed hospice house in Kennewick.

The 12,700-square-foot office building is expected to be finished in late summer. It will house The Chaplaincy's administrative offices, Community Hospice teams providing in-home services, its chaplains and a community education program.

Executive Director Bette Cooper said moving those functions to a new building will free up space in the hospice house on Entiat Street in Kennewick for more community programs.

"As an organization, we continue to expand as we strive to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our growing community," Cooper said. "Both our Community Hospice program and our chaplain services are positioned for significant growth, and in order to accommodate this growth, we simply need more space."

Jerry Rhoads, a member of The Chaplaincy's board and chairman of the building committee, said he's seen the average daily number of people and families helped by the nonprofit triple since he became involved in 1996.

The board knew it would someday outgrow the existing building in Kennewick and started a building fund that grew to the $3.2 million needed to buy land in the business park, which is operated by the Port of Kennewick, and to design and construct the building.

Cooper said construction wouldn't have been possible without community support.

"This is being funded by the generosity of our community," she said. "Behind the foundation of this building is the community."

-- Michelle Dupler: 582-1543;