State Decision On Navasota Residential Treatment Center

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

From the beginning, a majority of Navasota residents were united in their opposition of a residential treatment center opening in the area. And it appears the State of Texas agrees with them.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has denied Tarnesia and Daryl Gardener a permit to open a treatment center in Navasota. The former NFL player and his wife were looking to open Gardener's Kids Center to house more than 20 special needs children.

In turning down the Gardener's application, the state cited insufficient resources to support the children, and an increased ratio of special education students to regular education students enrolled in the school district.

During two public meetings, residents and city officials consistently voiced their concerns that the facility would put a tremendous strain on the Navasota school district. Navasota Independent School District Superintendent, Jennings Teel was one of the opponents of the facility.

"You were looking at a minimum, a minimum now, of probably $200 thousand dollars," Teel said. "That is just classroom, that is just personnel (and) that (is) without facilities."

Teel said if the treatment had been approved, the district would have accommodated the students, but said his initial concern had to focus on children already enrolled in Navasota schools.

"As an administrator of this district, it is my job to make sure that the children in this district are taken care of."

Navasota Mayor Bert Miller said the city had to look at the overall effect the treatment center would have had.

"We were concerned about the economic impact that it might have for our city and for the area, Miller said.

Both Miller and Teel are pleased with the state's decision, but they do say the Gardener's mission to help children in need is admirable.


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