CLAY TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WNDU) - When former Notre Dame Football coach Charlie Weis left town, he left behind Hannah and Friends.
It was revealed Wednesday that the 40-acre development for individuals with special needs has been sold for $1.8 million.
The land off Hollyhock north of Auten Road in Clay Township was developed to provide a special place for Weis' daughter Hannah, who has special needs, to spend the rest of her life. The sale does not change that — she was on the grounds Wednesday, along with other similarly situated individuals.
Nor does the sale change the Weis family‘s commitment to the cause.
“This is a big, big challenge to provide for individuals with special abilities and special needs, and they're going to be part of that fight until the day they die,” said attorney Dick Nussbaum, who is a Hannah and Friends board member and Wednesday served as a spokesman for the Weis family.
The buyer is Logan Center Resources, Inc., which was frankly found to be better at handling the bureaucracy involved in providing everything from day services to residential services to the special needs population.
About 18 months ago, Logan was contracted to run much of the programming at Hannah and Friends.
“There's a lot of bureaucratic issues that go along with making sure that the services are provided that need to be provided and paid for that need to be paid for, and so Logan is far better than that than we are,” Nussbaum said.
For instance, Logan is certified to deal with Medicaid while Hannah and Friends is not.
Logan Center was formed some 70 years ago to provide services and resources to people with special needs.
“Logan Center doesn't have a gymnasium; we now have a gymnasium just to my left here, which allows us to offer some more recreation-type programs. The trails for walking, the green space, the playground, the equine center,” Logan President and CEO Matt Harrington said. “The very first next step is to look at how we can expand our recreation and our summer programs, because right now we do have some limitations with our current space for those programs, and when you’re here, looking at 40 acres of property, there’s lots of space to do a lot of fun things, especially in the summertime.”
Hannah and Friend’s has a gym, 11 horses and a barn with a variety of animals. It also has four group homes that provide permanent housing for 16 individuals with special needs.
“I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here, but the vision was for more residences out here, and I think that's still a possibility,” Nussbaum said. “But there are certain things that have to happen, like getting water and sewer out here, that prevent us from doing anything more than what's already here.”
Harrington says the sale price was generous in that it was set at half of what the property was appraised for. The sale closed Nov. 1.
According to Nussbaum, the Weis family is now living in Florida, where Charlie’s son is now the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic.