CAB celebrates opening

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

After just under two years, facility celebrates the long road to completion


It’s been a long road, but the Community Action Building (CAB) was finally revealed to the public with a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon.

People were able to tour the facility that is the new home for the Parenting Resource Center, Welcome Center, Minnesota Immigrant Law Center, Nexus-Gerard Family Healing and Children’s Dental Health Services.

Email newsletter signup

“My honest impressions have been, it’s truly been an amazing collaboration among different organizations coming together to really provide multi-faceted services to everybody in the community from children to adult,” said Sara Salas Ramirez, who was hired as the Parenting Resources director in December of last year. “It really has been an amazing experience to come in later in the game and still understand what the project is all about and understand and continue to grow the mission of the PRC and what the Community Action Building is supposed to do.”

This project has been in the making for nearly two years after it was announced in June of 2021. 

The building was largely completed in the fall of last year, but supply chain issues nagged at the project, postponing the completion date into 2023.

“There were extra challenges,” said Tim Ruzek, Parenting Resource Center Board president. “From the idea to getting the funding, planning and all that, it’s incredible to have it open now.”

“I think the location of it, the way the facility is laid out — there are a lot of great opportunities ahead,” he added.

Monday’s ribbon cutting had some poignancy to it as well as two images were revealed that would hang in the halls of the CAB.

One was of Yarel Castelan, the granddaughter of the Welcoming Center’s Dora Arizola, who passed away, and the other was Chol Opiew, who was killed while visiting Ethiopia in 2021.

As people toured the facility, there was nothing but praise for CAB, including Sara Hayes Anderson, executive director of Children’s Dental Health Services, based in Rochester.

This is a second location for the non-profit, which has been providing dental and preventive care in Austin since 2008.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and collaboration to make sure this space is what we need and to be secure for our program,” Hayes Anderson said. “We’re ecstatic with how the building turned out.”

Hayes Anderson said she excepts them to be in Austin about two days a week, but that might depend some on need.

Still, she is excited for the future of Children’s Dental Health Services and CAB as a whole.

“For the families we serve, it’s a huge blessing to have everything in one spot,” Hayes Anderson said.

For Ramirez, even with CAB freshly opened, she’s excited for a future where even more services can be added.

“I see this as a building where we’re able to grow and expand more services,” she said. “(CAB) is a model.”