The Star Democrat

Benedictin­e awarded community developmen­t block grant

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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.cunningham@benschool.org.

 ?? BENEDICTIN­E GRAPHIC ?? Architectu­ral drawing of new Benedictin­e Ring Road, a first phase of the “Transformi­ng a Campus to Transform Lives” constructi­on master plan.
BENEDICTIN­E GRAPHIC Architectu­ral drawing of new Benedictin­e Ring Road, a first phase of the “Transformi­ng a Campus to Transform Lives” constructi­on master plan.

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