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Autism Care Provider to Construct New School

Linwood Center Inc., an Ellicott City school and adult services provider for people with autism, will use $500,000 in state bond funding to plan, design and construct a new school building.
 
The approximately 36,000-square-foot building will have a capacity for 70 students when the building has its scheduled opening the fall of 2013, Linwood Center Executive Director Bill Moss says. The expansion of the student population will likely mean that the school could add as many as 40 new instructional staff by the time the school opens, Moss says.
 
Funding for the $6.5 million project came from Linwood Center through fundraising, private donors and state and local governments.
 
The new school will be a "state of the art" learning center for kids with autism, Moss says.
 
The current school building serves 24 students in a historic mansion that was converted into a school. In recent years the school turned away students because space doesn't exist, Moss says.
 
The lack of space to accommodate kids with autism comes as the demand for autism care is at an all-time high. Over the past 10 years, the incidence of autism in children has dramatically increased and the demand for services is great, Moss says.
 
"One in 80 children have autism in the state of Maryland. In Howard County, it’s one in 73 kids," Moss says.
 
The new school will have a large gym and multipurpose room, a full kitchen, a library and computer lab, rooms for various therapie and a fully functioning teaching apartment to train youth in living skills. The school currently serves youth ages 9 to 21, but the new school will accept younger children.
 
Construction on the site started in June with the removal of a building on the property. Usable parts of the building were donated to Habitat for Humanity.
 
 
Source: Bill Moss, executive director, Linwood Center Inc. 
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com

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