Waban Construction Nearing Completion
SANFORD – The construction of Waban’s new Autism Therapy Wing at the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center is nearing completion. The driveway and parking lot have been shimmed, and with the final surface coat and striping to come, will allow for 90 parking spaces. Outside, the roof, doors and windows are in place and the siding is nearly finished, matching the existing clapboards for a seamless integration with the existing structure.
A new entrance will welcome parents, students and staff into the center, with easy access to the new classrooms, a lobby that connects the current center to the addition and a straight path to the spacious new multipurpose room with a sunny cathedral ceiling for school events and larger gatherings. The wiring and plumbing is done, the drywall has been taped and sanded, and most of the painting is finished.
When asked about challenges during construction, Executive Director Neal Meltzer noted the process by which some unanticipated ledge was removed, “We chose not to blast because that would have required us to evacuate the school for the safety of the students and staff. Instead we used hydraulic equipment to chip away the ledge, which was more expensive but a better choice for the installation of a 20,000-gallon water tank for fire suppression.”
Starting next week, the grounds will be landscaped, including a rain garden in the center of the parking lot which will capture runoff. This environmentally sound choice will replace the need for a catch basin and specific choices of plant species will thrive in the potentially harsh conditions while contributing to the green effect in the parking area.
The final details, technology, furniture and offices will be put in place throughout September with staff training on the new systems. Meltzer anticipates an October 1st opening date. Several new students have already signed up, with more enrollments to come by the end of August. A welcome open house will be scheduled for mid-October.
The expansion of the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center with the new Autism Therapy Wing will allow Waban to offer kindergarten through grade 2 services to 32 additional children with autism and other disabilities.
Fund raising continues for the capital campaign and Waban has started a gofundme page to reach the finish line for this $2 million project. Every contribution counts at gofundme.com/autismtherapywing.