The Star Democrat
Benedictine awarded community development block grant
RIDGELY — Benedictine has been awarded a $562,335 Community Development Block Grant through a partnership with Caroline County to begin work on a new ring road and sidewalks to provide access during the subsequent phases of “Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives” construction master plan.
The “Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives” plan is a careful orchestration of building renovation and new construction to improve and update the facilities that are nearing the end of their useful life so Benedictine can better meet the needs of a current autistic student population with significant sensory sensitivities, according to a news release.
“The Caroline County Commissioners were eager to support the Benedictine School project that will enhance its campus as well as the learning experience for students and staff,” said Larry Porter, Caroline County Commission president. “This future campus will be an asset to the members of our community for many years to come.”
In 2018 the architectural firm of Cox, Graae & Spack was hired to craft a plan for the campus transformation. The
plan encompasses three phases with Phase 1a to include the completion of the new campus ring road and sidewalks and Phase 1 to include a new student residence wing, program space, a family visiting area and state-of-the art nursing station. Phase 2 will include a new academic core of classrooms and areas for physical, speech and occupational therapy. Phase 3 plans for a new adult services space and administrative office consolidation.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Caroline County and take this important first step in
transforming our campus,” said Scott Evans, Benedictine executive director.
Benedictine’s students with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum have greatly increased over the past 20 years and now make up approximately 80% of Benedictine’s student population.
“Accessing outdoors activities for our students allows them to engage in their environment, learn about the natural world and decrease hyperactivity. The new ring road will provide an additional safe place for that to occur and is an exciting beginning towards the renovation of
our campus,” said Julie Hickey, Benedictine education director.
The CDBG award is funded by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
For more information about the “Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives” plan and how the public can support this initiative, contact Claudia Cunningham, Benedictine chief advancement officer, at 410-364-9610 or Claudia.firstname.lastname@example.org.