August 13, 2015 | Blog, Press Release
The Els Center of Excellence to Welcome First Students on Monday!
The new Center will welcome the first students through the doors on August 17 the first day of the school year
Jupiter, Fla. (August 11, 2015) – The Els Center of Excellence, currently being built in the heart of the Limestone Creek area of Jupiter, FL, will welcome its first students on Monday August 17th when it opens the first two components of the Center – The Lower School and The Els Center of Excellence Auditorium Building. The milestone will be marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday evening led by Ernie and Liezl Els and attended by major donors, local supporters and media.
The Lower School, that will be known as ‘The Learning Center at The Els Center of Excellence’, will provide public charter school education for up to 150 children from ages 3-14, and, in-line with the entire campus, has been specifically designed to create a learning environment that is suited to children on the spectrum. This includes features such as special LED lighting to mitigate behavioral issues that can be triggered by standard fluorescents; specially designed learning labs for life-kills and vocational training; and a sensory integration room to foster sensory and motor development. Through the use of interactive technology and observation rooms the Lower School will also provide an invaluable resource for applied research studies, allowing resident experts, visiting scholars and researchers to examine issues and develop practical approaches to the wide range of challenges that individuals on the spectrum face.
The delivery of the state-of-the-art Auditorium Building, specifically designed to help facilitate the dissemination and gathering of applied research findings and best practices, will enable the Foundation to take its global outreach activities to the next level. The building includes a 300-seat auditorium equipped with video-conferencing technology, a green-room, 3 smaller video-conferencing suites and additional office space to house the Els for Autism Foundation development and programming staff, visiting scholars and researchers.
Groundbreaking took place for the Lower School and Auditorium Building in March 2014. These are the first components that are being delivered of a 26-acre campus that, once complete, will include an Upper School (with capacity for an additional 150 students ages 14-22), extensive sports and outdoor recreational facilities (including a gymnasium, swimming pool, golf practice facility, athletics field, and play courts), a cafeteria, a medical and professional services building and an adult services component.
Even before the dedicated buildings are in place the Center is bringing together the critical elements of early intervention, education, sports and leisure, applied research, transition to adulthood, medical and professional services, and adult services all on one campus. Having all the essential elements on one campus, with the integrated programing and continuity of service that this allows, will not only be a tremendous resource for the children in the local area of Palm Beach County, but positions the Center as a game-changing resource for autism. Using the Center as its base Els for Autism will be developing and rolling out innovative, evidence-based programs for families and individuals across the life span. These programs are focused on making best practices in education and therapy available to children, families and autism experts not just locally but across the U.S. and internationally.
Els for Autism co-Founder, Ernie Els, said: “This dream has been in the pipeline since 2009 and on Monday, when the first kids walk through the door, that dream will become real. It’s going to be a very special day! We have only reached this point thanks to the collective support of a huge number of individuals and organizations. Whether people have donated $1 or $1million everyone who has supported us has literally been a building block for this Center.”
Liezl Els, co-Founder of the Foundation added: “From the beginning we knew we wanted the Center to be much more than a school, we wanted it to be a game-changing facility that would positively impact the autism community far and wide so, as well as opening the Lower School, we’re really looking forward to rolling out our global programs. We have a great team in place to do this and some exciting programs in the pipeline! On the construction side, our work is not finished. We’ve made great progress opening these two buildings but we are now focused on raising the capital to build the Upper School and remaining elements of our vision.”
The Foundation’s fundraising campaign is now focused on raising the funds to complete the Upper School, the sports facilities, the medical and professional services building and the adult services component. Donations can be made online at www.elsforautism.com and by check (made payable to ‘Els for Autism’) and addressed to: Els for Autism, The Els Center of Excellence 18370 Limestone Creek Rd, Jupiter, FL 33458.
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Contact: Lucy Cotton, Els for Autism, T: 561 578 0532, E: firstname.lastname@example.org