Jawonio undergoes $18 million transformation

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A Rockland County facility for children and young adults with mental health challenges is celebrating a big change.

Families and staff members are enjoying the opening of phase one of Jawonio's $18 million transformation to the campus in New City.

Phase one includes new cabins that have replaced the ones built in the 1960s. The cabins have classrooms and therapy spaces for children ages 5-21 with special needs.

For almost 70 years, Jawonio been serving the area’s special needs population for almost 70 years.   Their summer education program lasts for six weeks for more than 100 children and young adults.

Diana Hess, chief development officer at Jawonio, says it's an emotional day. “You can hear the sounds of children in the pool, experiencing art, fun with their friends. What an amazing opportunity to see kids with special needs enjoying camp just like any of us would want to.”

Other construction phases will include the demolition of several buildings, addition of 379 parking spots, and the construction of a two-story, 72,091-square-foot building, which will include an integrated health center and job training center and a 4,000-square-foot cabin.

Phase two will get started in the coming months, and staff hope to complete it by 2020.

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