AP NEWS

Former Gamecock football star managing project that will provide Children’s Place with new home

February 14, 2019

Teamwork, tenacity and heart – these are just a few of the core values Warren Muir learned on the football field at the University of South Carolina.

That, in turn, laid the foundation for a successful career in construction management throughout the Southeast.

Now, Muir will be using those values to lead Children’s Place in Aiken to its new home.

He is volunteering his time and talents to be the project manager for a construction and renovation effort that will provide a new facility for Children’s Place, a therapeutic child and family development center.

The mission of Children’s Place is to protect children and families from the impact of trauma and to heal and strengthen them after they have experienced trauma.

A United Way agency, Children’s Place offers therapeutic child care, community based prevention services and a Strengthening Families Program.

Now in its 50th year, Children’s Place currently exists in less than 4,000 square feet of space on Barnwell Avenue.

A small former church houses the therapeutic preschool that consists of classrooms the size of a typical bedroom, with each individual classroom serving 12 to 14 children and four teachers.

Child therapy is provided at picnic tables, on the front porch and in small cubbies in classrooms.

“We have come to the end of the useful life of our 100-year-old buildings,” said Children’s Place Executive Director Peggy Ford. “We have the knowledge, experience and desire to serve more children and families that need a second chance; we just don’t have the room.”

Stand Up for Children is the capital campaign for Children’s Place to raise funds to refurbish the former Willow Run Industrial Spec Building on Beaufort Street that will become its new home.

The project is scheduled to break ground this summer. The new home will allow Children’s Place to serve more children and families, specifically by intervening earlier in the lives of infants; uncovering potential in more children at risk between the ages of 2-12; keeping more families together by offering more parenting classes and support groups, and permanently healing emotional scars and behavioral problems.

In the same way Muir led the Gamecocks to win their first and only conference title in the history of the school’s football program, he will lead the way in managing the project involving Children’s Place’s new home.

After touring the current Children’s Place facility for the first time, Muir said: “The tour was quite revealing as to how much they are accomplishing in such tight quarters. A new home would certainly improve not only the atmosphere, but also the staff’s overall efficiency to increase the positive impact they have on our community.”

“I just can’t believe we found him,” said Ford of Muir. “By being a volunteer he is giving us the gift of at least one more classroom in our new home, which will allow us to help more children and families. It means so much to me.”

When asked why he decided to take on this project, Muir explained that his late wife, Debi, had a love for children.

“She taught kindergarten for most of her 28 years in the school system with the Aiken County School District, and she thought of those kids as her own,” Muir said. “I felt like this would be something she’d want me to do, so I get to fulfill a greater purpose while honoring her memory.”

Children’s Place serves Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick, Barnwell and Bamberg counties.

For more information about Stand Up for Children, visit childrensplaceinc.org/stand-up-for-children, call 803-641-4144 or visit 310 Barnwell Ave. N.E.