Mobility Worldwide Affiliate

Missouri – Columbia

Shop: New Construction

MEL AND BARBARA WEST CART CENTER

We moved in July 2020 and are now fully in cart production & shipping mode.

Directions:

South on Hwy 63, right on Discovery Parkway exit, then left on Ponderosa St. 1 ½ miles, straight onto Meyer Industrial Drive, lot on left/east.

4825 E Meyer Industrial Drive
Columbia, MO 65201

Gallery View of Progress

Volunteers and visitors to the Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia workshop who are used to dodging carts and working in cramped quarters will be delighted to know relief is on the way. Construction has begun on a new, larger workshop, with the transition expected to occur in Summer 2020.

The facility will be located at 4825 E Meyer Industrial Drive, on the southern edge of Columbia just off Highway 63. At 12,500 square feet, the building will be significantly larger than the existing workshop, with improved loading docks, larger assembly areas, and a greatly increased capacity for storage. The site also allows for future expansion. (Pictured: Black banded, boxed carts are stacked high in the back on industrial shelving.)
 

Even before construction, the facility already has a name, the “Mel and Barbara West Cart Center.” Longtime board member Jim Wall noted the designation was only fitting.

“Estimates indicate as many as 70 million people around the world have lost the use of their legs due to landmine injury, polio or other illnesses,” Wall explained.

“The Wests started Mobility Worldwide 25 years ago, committed to providing mobility to the leg-disabled. Now there are 22 workshops around the country and two in Africa, and volunteers have built and shipped over 80,000 carts to 106 countries. Naming this new building for Mel and Barbara is a way to honor their vision while reminding us all to commit ourselves, as they did, to serving those in need around the world.”

“We’re excited to see the new facility become a reality,” Executive Director Gary Moreau exclaimed. “We have made the best of our tight spaces for years, but now we will have room to grow and increase our production. Many of our volunteers provided input to what they would like to see incorporated in the plans, and I believe they will be pleased with the results.”

Those plans add a new feature: a welding workshop. To date, all welding has been done off site. The new building will include the space and ventilation to allow much of this work to be done in-house, reducing the need to transport metal to and from private facilities.

The Container Project and The Sewing Project will also move to the new building, continuing the close working relationships of all three humanitarian teams. (Pictured warehouse: front row contains boxes of clothes, vitamins, and more waiting for Nicaragua.) The new workshop will also include improved office spaces and a conference room, along with a paved parking area.

Perhaps best of all, funding for purchase of the land and construction of the building was provided by very generous benefactors.

“A gift was bequeathed in Herbert Sauer’s will several years ago, which provided the seed money,” Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia Board President Danielle Harrison said. “The balance was provided by Judy and Jim Wall, who saw a need and wished to support Mobility’s efforts to expand and provide even more carts every year. As a result of these generous gifts, we will no longer have to pay rent, which means that monthly expense can now be reallocated to building more carts.”

Coil Construction is the prime contractor for the project.

Volunteers and interested parties are encouraged to view the plans at the current workshop and drive by the new location to watch the progress.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and move-in date will be announced in the spring.

By Dell Epperson, Board Trustee & member of Building Committee November 2019

25 Years ago Mel West founded Mobility Worldwide to help provide mobility to those unable to walk throughout the world. He enlisted many others over the years to help develop and fulfill his vision. In the early years his neighbors often heard him late at night building Mobility Carts in his garage. Today, Mel Inspired us with his wisdom and commitment to help others at the groundbreaking for the Mel and Barbara West Cart Center—the new headquarters for Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia which has now grown to over 24 locations in the USA and throughout the world.


Board members Dennis Canote and Dell Epperson review the plans for the new Mobility Cart workshop with Mike Hemme of Coil Construction (center).

It was a great day with 69 in attendance: Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia volunteers, Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and other supporters present to help continue the mission of Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia to serve and help others. Thank you Mel and Barbara West for the example of Service Above Self you provide to all of us!! – Glen Ehrhardt, Board Trustee

Groundbreaking ceremony 69 attendees Nov 13 2019 C
Groundbreaking ceremony Mel West founder addresses attendees Nov 13 2019
Groundbreaking ceremony reps with shovels Nov 13 2019

Groundbreaking ceremony closeup Mel West Founder & Danielle Harrison board chair dig first dirt Nov 13 2019

Groundbreaking ceremony Mel West founder addresses attendees Nov 13 2019

Grants are received for items outside the construction budget.

We are grateful to these organizations for helping our new shop be even better.

The Stafford Family Charitable Trust – Establishing a welding shop in the new workshop will become a reality, thanks to a generous gift of over $26,000 from The Stafford Family Charitable Trust.  To date, all welding of the frames and metal components of the Mobility Cart has been offsite, often in the garages and barns of dedicated volunteers we call ‘parts makers’.

Boone Electric Community Trust – A generous grant of $4,000 has been received from the Boone Electric Community Trust to assist with the installation of a fire/smoke/security system in the new facility.  Longtime supporters of Mobility, the gift from the Trust will protect our volunteers and facility, resulting in a safe and secure working environment. Press release.

PET Mobility Project Foundation – Thanks to a grant of almost $14,000 from the PET Mobility Project Foundation, pallet storage racks will be installed which will significantly increase storage capacity.  The goal is to increase production while providing the ability to distribute donated parts to other shops around the country and consolidate carts for more frequent shipments.

Moving in begins July 2020.

We obtained a temporary occupancy permit.  After many truckloads and a lot of hot hours, we have moved the Mobility Cart shop, warehouse and other missions.  The office area is now completed, and we plan to move all the files, office supplies and equipment next.  There is a lot of activity going on organizing and setting up the work areas.

Cart production and shipping begins August 2020.

We are in full operation with little tweaks in process.  Supplies are arriving and Mobility Carts are being shipped out.

Missouri – Columbia

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Contact

Mobility Worldwide
MO–Columbia
4825 E Meyer Industrial Drive
Columbia, MO 65201 USA
(573) 886-7877
info@GiftofMobility.org

General Hours:
M – F 8 am to 3 pm except holidays

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