By Mike Kruzman & Jon King /

The LACASA Center has been granted a temporary site plan extension request for the portable office in the parking lot at the current LACASA facility on Grand River.

The Howell Township Planning Commission granted the extension as part of their in-person meeting, Tuesday night. LACASA is a non-profit that aids and advocates for the victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. Approvals have been granted for the organization's proposed new development off of Tooley Road, across from the EMS building. The 50,475 square foot single-story building will house their administrative offices, counseling facilities, and shelter under one roof.

The need for their services grew during the pandemic, but the pandemic also slowed down LACASA’s fundraising capabilities for the project. CEO and President Bobette Schrandt told the planning commission they have raised about 47% of their $10-million goal and she is optimistic about hitting the 80% mark which is when they will break ground. She laid out a timeline for commissioners, saying they hope to have shovels in the ground within a year, and then a 10-month period for getting the building constructed.

LACASA was asking for a two-year extension for the portable office at their current location, but Planning Commissioner Wayne Williams made the motion offering them 3. Schrandt said they would take it but still sounded confident in their ability to get the project done on their new timeline. The planning commission approved the extension unanimously.