The Center’s West Dallas Campus: Q&A with the CEO

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The Center CEO Charles C. Canton

The Center CEO Charles C. Canton

In the fall of 2017, The Center made the announcement that we would be putting our West Dallas property up for sale and searching for a new location to help us better meet the evolving needs of our clients. This decision will allow us to access the value of this centrally located piece of land and allocate more of our resources to the quality programs and services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) we have been offering for almost seven decades. With such a big step on the horizon, the community has naturally had a few questions. We sat down with The Center’s CEO, Charles Canton to answer a few of these questions and discuss some of the exciting things to come.


How is the sale of The Center’s West Dallas campus progressing?

When we began the search for a buyer for our West Dallas property last year, we set the goal of accomplishing a sale that would provide us the financial foundation for a very successful relocation. Since the beginning of this journey, the facts have not changed substantially. We do feel very confident in our progress thus far and our ability to accomplish the move, solidifying a foundation for the future.


Has The Center settled on a new location?

We have found some very promising leads and are excited about the next steps. We have high expectations for the future of The Center and our new campus will be a big part of that. The new property–in terms of location, grounds, and buildings–will in itself be a resource for our clients’ success. We need to ensure that anywhere we consider replanting The Center is conducive to our current high-quality programming and future innovation. It also needs to be a place where our clients love to learn, grow, and spend time. Right now, we are continuing to scout out ideal locations. We will announce the new location once we have secured the new property.


How is The Center deciding what our community needs in a campus?

This move is a huge milestone for our organization that affects everyone—clients, families, employees, supporters—and it is important to consider all perspectives as we prepare for it. From late May through mid-June, The Center is hosting a series of meetings where we gather with our various stakeholders to give us all a better picture of what collaborative success will look like as we move forward. We started the meetings on May 31st with discussions that have involved nearly 100 people including other I/DD providers, board members, political leaders, and other community leaders. Future meetings will include residents, families, and The Center’s core leadership. The campus will be among several pertinent topics of discussion. We’re looking forward to considering everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and dreams in our vision for the future.


What will happen to the clients in Cullen Residence Hall?

The Center offers our clients a choice of several living options, including housing on our West Dallas and Willow River Farms locations and throughout the community. For those who live in Cullen Residence Hall on The Center’ s West Dallas Campus, it is important to know that no one in The Center’s residential program will be without a place to live during this transition.


Is there anything else you feel is important to address?

Yes. I think it is important to acknowledge what an incredibly unique opportunity we have here. Our West Dallas campus has been a resource for Houstonians with I/DD and their families for 68 years. By providing us the unprecedented means for meaningful growth in a new location tailored to the specific needs of our clients, it completes that legacy proudly. The creative possibilities this facilitates are almost endless. As we plan, we’re looking at our clients today and we’re seeing our clients for the next 68 years and beyond. All of these adults deserve the opportunity to realize their full personal potential—that’s the future we’re working to provide.