February 24, 2015 | Blog, Press Release
The Els Center of Excellence to Welcome First Students This August
First components of state-of-the-art autism center on track for completion this summer
Jupiter, Fla. (February 24th, 2015) – Els for Autism today confirmed that The Els Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art autism center being built in the heart of the Limestone Creek area of Jupiter, FL, will welcome its first students in August this year when it opens the first components of the Center – The Lower School and The Els Center of Excellence Auditorium Building.
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, extensive sports and outdoor recreational facilities (including a gymnasium, swimming pool, golf practice facilities, athletics field, and play courts), a cafeteria, a medical and professional services building and an adult services component.
Once the full vision for the Center is complete, the Center will host a uniquely designed, on-site educational program for a total of 300 children, ages 3-21, on the autism spectrum and bring together the critical elements of early intervention, education, 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. It will be a perfect hub for spearheading a multi-faceted global outreach program that will make best practices in education and therapy available to children, families and autism experts both across the U.S. and internationally.
The Lower School will provide public charter school education for 150 children from ages 3-14, and, in-line with with the entire campus, has been specifically designed to create a learning environment that is suited to children on the spectrum. This includes features that will support easy navigation such as visual cues and sensory walls; 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 cameras 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 staff, programming staff, visiting scholars and researchers.
Els for Autism Founder, Ernie Els, said: “Thanks to the generous support of a huge number of organizations and individuals, the first components of the Center are now close to completion and we cannot wait to welcome the first kids through the doors this August and to take our global outreach activities to the next level. It really is like a dream coming true for myself and Liezl.”
He added: “From the beginning, our vision for the Center was to create a game-changing resource for both the local and global autism community, with all the necessary services integrated on one campus. While great strides have been made, we still have a long way to go and we are now focused on raising the necessary funds to deliver the rest of our vision. We are asking people to stay with us on our journey as we continue to build a better future for people with autism.”
With the Lower School and Auditorium close to completion, Els for Autism’s capital fundraising campaign is focused on ensuring a continuous build schedule for 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, 3900 Military Trail, Suite 200, Jupiter, FL 33458.
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