For years the Atlanta Cottage has served as a storage facility for the United Methodist Children’s Home quarterly flea market. Built in 1906, it was originally a girls dormitory. By the end of this week all residents will have moved for good off the 144-year-old campus, which has been sold to Decatur. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC

Decatur Children’s Home begins moving from 144-year-old campus

The United Methodist Children’s Home has begun moving residents from the campus it’s occupied east of Decatur since 1873. The Home has already transferred everyone in its family housing program into apartments in Clarkston. This week independent living residents begin moving into Tucker apartments, which should finish by Friday.

Independent living is a transitional program for young adults, 18-21, who’ve aged out of foster care. Family housing aims to keep intact those families in danger of losing a child to foster care.

The UMCH is moving its 60-person administrative staff to a 50,000 square-foot office complex in Tucker, probably in October according John Cerniglia, the Home’s Vice President of Development.

The city of Decatur closed on the 77-acre property earlier this month for $40 million. In January the city begins creating a master plan for the site, although the rear 22 acres—including the lake and forest—will remain mostly untouched.

Sometime this fall the property’s playing fields will get what City Manager Peggy Merriss describes as a “major upgrade,” which will take nine months to a year.

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