Funding will support a new school residence for students living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and autism that Benedictine’s School supports

(Ridgely, MD – April 9, 2024) – Benedictine is pleased and honored to announce that it has been awarded $1.8 million in Fiscal Year 2024 Congressionally Directed Spending through the Omnibus Spending Bill under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding, requested and secured by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), will support the construction of a new school residential facility. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen’s support and advocacy was instrumental in Benedictine’s request.

“Benedictine provides essential tools that improve the quality of life for Marylanders with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This federal funding will help expand those resources and opportunities for these individuals,” said Senator Cardin. “Team Maryland is proud to support this community-led project that will help more Marylanders with developmental and intellectual disabilities live independent and inclusive lives.” 

“All people, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to learn and work toward their goals. This direct federal investment will enable Benedictine to expand their residential school, providing invaluable educational resources and a welcoming community where students with disabilities of all ages can succeed,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

With this award, Benedictine has secured $7.3 million in commitments toward the project, with funding also coming from State Maryland Capital Budgets under Governors Hogan and Moore, and the Maryland General Assembly with strong support from the Eastern Shore delegation, as well as private funding from the Benedictine Foundation and donors. This critically important new School Residential Facility is part of the Benedictine “Transforming Lives” Campaign.

“Receiving this Congressionally Directed Spending funding for Benedictine’s new student residential facility is crucial in our efforts to provide a homelike setting for a student population with significant sensory sensitivities that the current building, nearing the end of its useful life, does not accommodate. Securing the funds needed for this project will have a huge impact on the population we support,” stated Scott Evans, Benedictine Executive Director. “The student demographic has significantly changed since the existing residential space was built in the 1960s – now, over 80% of students we support are living with more complicated forms of autism. The new residential wings will include suites equipped with multiple recreational and sensory areas for the students, along with an updated dining area and a state-of-the-art infirmary.”

Benedictine, located on the Eastern Shore, serves as a statewide resource for students and adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and autism and is one of the few providers that is both a residential school and adult residential and day service provider. It is an extension of the public school system accommodating students the public schools cannot. Additionally, it is one of the largest employers in the Mid-Shore region.