By Kelly Duncan - [email protected]
NEWBERRY — Over the weekend, Boys Farm held its 14th annual Fall Festival, the highlight of the festival was the ribbon cutting ceremony for Boys Farm’s newest house the ‘Nieri House.’
According to greatsouthernhomes.com the building is 6,712 square feet with nine bedrooms and offers needed additional space at the farm.
Development Director Andre Jennings said the new addition came to be a few years ago after Michael Nieri, president and founder of Great Southern Homes, approached Boys Farm wanting to get involved.
“Michael Nieri approached us a couple of years ago and said he wanted to be involved with Boys Farm and asked if he could help us out by building houses, so of course we said yes and he came out for a tour along with Building Industry Association of Central Midlands (BIA),” Jennings said.
Then, in 2014 Nieri along with BIA came out and built two houses at Boys Farm and last year Nieri approached Boys Farm wanting to do more. Thus began the process of building the Nieri House.
“We’re just excited that Michael Nieri and Great Southern Homes and his team have been so excited and so willing to help us out,” Jennings said.
Jennings added with the addition of the Nieri House, it will helps Boys Farm continue to serve needy boys.
“Boys Farm has been serving needy boys since the 60s and we believe we have a really good model of helping children and families in difficult situations and so this is going to expand out capacity by over 25 percent, this is a really important thing because in South Carolina there is still a big need for foster care type homes and this is not only helping us serve more children, but serve them in a much better situation,” he said.
The long term plan, Jennings said, is to add one more cottage for the boys.
“Who knows what we can do after that, we don’t want to grow too big, we definitely want to have a model that serves the boys, but doesn’t get so big that it becomes an institution, we want it to be a very family-oriented atmosphere,” he said.
Although the boys will have to wait a few more weeks before moving in, Jennings said they are thrilled about the new facility.
“The boys are thrilled, most of our facilities were built in the 70s and they require a lot of maintenance, so this new house, not only is the design very functional, it offers so much more living space for the children in the house, plenty of space for game opportunities, just an entire new living experience,” he said.
Mayor Foster Senn commended Nieri and Great Southern Homes for the new addition, saying that the Nieri House will benefit the boys for years to come.
“They (Boys Farm) take boys in difficult situations, brings them up in a positive, caring family environment, there’s a lot of love going on here at Boys Farm. On behalf of the City of Newberry and the Newberry community we also want to thank Michael Nieri of Great Southern Homes, what a beautiful home this is. Great Southern Homes you all know is one of the best and largest builders in the region, in 2017 they were named South Carolina Builder of the Year which is quite an accomplishment,” Senn said.
Nieri said it was a pleasure to work with Boys Farm and that they are excited for what the future holds.
“This has been a real pleasure working with Boys Farm and we’re excited about the future and we do plan on starting immediately to possibly start a fourth house very soon, we’re just scouting around trying to find a little piece of dirt to build another one,” he said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.