CHICAGO, Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Easterseals publicly kicked off Building a Healthier Tomorrow, a $12 million capital campaign. The organization hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today and announced the construction of a 26,378 square feet Fitness, Wellness and Recreation Center for students with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities.
Easterseals provides individualized therapeutic education for 120 students and 30 adults with significant behavioral and emotional needs at the Terrence J. Hancock Family Campus located at 1939 W. 13th Street. Built in 2008, the campus does not currently have opportunities for indoor fitness and recreation. The new state-of-the-art facility will include a gymnasium, running track, fitness loft, auditorium and stage.
"Today we emerged from what fundraisers call the campaign's 'quiet phase,' during which we raised a portion of the grand total before our public launch," said Easterseals President & CEO Tim Muri. "We're very grateful to our donors and partners who are changing the lives of individuals with autism and helping Easterseals to realize this dream."
Research shows extracurricular activity increases levels of social engagement, self-confidence and coping skills for people with disabilities. The development of the facility will provide an avenue to build healthy lifestyle habits; learn new communication and social skills; and increase opportunities for community engagement.
Clune Construction is providing construction services for the project. Easterseals and Clune have a long-lasting relationship and collaborate to meet specific needs of individuals living with autism spectrum disorder.
"Clune has thoroughly enjoyed its partnership with Easterseals for several years now. We are extremely excited to be able to work with them on the fulfillment of the project," said Clune Senior Vice President, Project Executive, Pat Kinsella. "This new building will enable them to offer much needed fitness, wellness and recreation services to their students and clients."