For years Camp Taylor has been looking for a permanent home. The search is finally over as the camp is hoping to purchase the site of the former Stanislaus County Honor Farm near Grayson.
"We've had an eye on it for 13 months," said Camp Taylor founder and executive director Kimberlie Gamino about the property. "The location is ideal; we've always wanted our forever roots in Stanislaus County."
Since its founding in 2002, the camp for children with heart disease and their families has provided its unique services in facilities around the state, but it's been a challenge.
"The demand for our services continues to grow, there are so many children and families in need of our services...but we are limited in facility use and that dictated how many children and families we could serve," said Gamino.
Because the camp serves children with heart disease, it has to be located under 2,000 feet from sea level — eliminating many of the Sierra foothill facilities — and within 25 minutes of a major hospital.
The 22-acre site on West Grayson Road, 7 miles south of Modesto, serves Camp Taylor's needs perfectly.
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recently put the property up for sale. A fire in 2010 destroyed two barracks on the Honor Farm, which housed county prisoners. The county used the insurance settlement from the fire to build more beds at the Public Safety Center on Hackett Road in Ceres, which opened last year.
Camp Taylor put in a minimum bid of $723,000 for the recently abandoned property. The Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to accept the bid.
Camp Taylor is still in the planning stages for the property and Gamino said they will be embarking on a campaign to raise funds for construction in the near future, if the county accepts their bid.
No matter what the facilities will feature, the most important thing said Gamino, is that Camp Taylor will be able to serve more children and families.
"We serve 600 to 700 people per year, this will definitely allow us to expand and do away with our waiting lists. We're thrilled that we can help more children; exciting times for us."