The Norman Transcript


June 19, 2014

Norman nonprofit expanding children’s facility

NORMAN — Exposed wooden beams and white hard hats framed the scene of an ongoing renovation project Wednesday afternoon at the Mary Abbott Children’s House.

Board and staff members gathered for a groundbreaking celebration for an expansion project that will renovate all 1,500 square feet of the Abbott House’s second floor to provide space for the Children’s Victim’s Unit. 

“This new co-location is very important for us and our multidisciplinary team and multidisciplinary efforts as we help to coordinate children’s advocacy,” said Clint Williams, Mary Abbott Children’s House executive director. 

The Abbott House is one of 750 independent children’s advocacy centers in the country, providing a place for children who have been victims of severe physical or sexual trauma to seek medical attention during investigations of alleged child abuse.

The house provides a place for forensic interviews, medical assessments and educational outreach concerning child sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect, primarily serving Cleveland, McClain and Garvin counties. 

Originally built in 2008, the upstairs floor of the building has remained empty, until expansion needs could officially be determined.

Williams said the fundraising and planning process has been going on for the past 18 months. After a year of determining the architectural design of the space, construction began. 

“We started to talk about it and it became clear that the Norman Police Department wanted to have more of an interaction with us,” Williams said. 

Williams said one of the main goals of this project is to strengthen their partnership with Norman officers and investigators. 

Det. John Stege is one of two Norman police detectives who have partnered with the Abbott House to investigate crimes involving children. Both detectives will move into the new space once it is completed, along with one Cleveland County detective. 

“One of the important things of child advocacy centers is that they keep the focus on the needs of the victims,” Stege said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • One killed when shipping container falls onto vehicle

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police say one person was killed when a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 1, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014