Benedictine Is Awarded Community Development Block Grant

Benedictine Is Awarded Community Development Block Grant

CDBG will be first step in the Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives Master Plan

(Ridgely, MD – December 17, 2021)Benedictine has been awarded a $562,335 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 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.

“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,” stated Larry Porter, Caroline County Commissioners 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 3 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,” stated Scott Evans, Benedictine Executive Director.

Benedictine’s students with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum has 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 first step in the larger project of transforming our campus,” stated Julie Hickey, Benedictine Education Director.

The CDBG award is funded by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

For more information about the “Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives” plan and how you can support this initiative, please contact Claudia Cunningham, Benedictine Chief Advancement Officer, at 410.364.9610 or Claudia.cunningham@benschool.org.

About Benedictine:

Benedictine is a non-sectarian nonprofit organization helping more than 200 children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism achieve their greatest potential. Benedictine’s year-round educational program is one of only 26 nationwide to earn a two-year accreditation from the National Commission for Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES). This program includes home-like living and learning options on the Ridgely, Maryland campus, for children ages 5 to 21 who come from Maryland and surrounding states. Benedictine’s Adult Services program offers employment and vocational services for transitional youth and adults, ages 22 to 70+, in the community and those who live in Benedictine’s group homes in Caroline, Talbot, and Anne Arundel Counties. Benedictine’s Easton Community Services & Training Center prepares the adults it serves to enter the workforce and collaborates with the Talbot County Public Schools to provide services to their students through the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) Program. For more information, visit www.benschool.org

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Photo caption: Architectural drawing of new Benedictine Wing Road, a first phase of the “Transforming a Campus to Transform Lives” construction master plan.

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