CHICAGO – Groundbreaking ceremonies held Oct. 30 marked a milestone in Newcastle Limited*’s development of a pioneering research center and school for autistic children on behalf of Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago.ESMC engaged Chicago-based Newcastle to identify and acquire the project site and coordinate design, construction and financing for its state-of-the-art Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research. Located in the Illinois Medical District, this complex will be the first in the nation to integrate education, cutting-edge research, training and independent living in a single campus.According to ESMC, more than 1 million people in the United States live with autism, a brain disorder affecting social interaction and communication, and the rate of occurrence continues to rise. “This new campus provides a setting where autism education and research can come together,” said Newcastle President Mike Haney. “All of us on the development team look forward to seeing our work promote a better future for people affected by autism.”
Newcastle’s efforts led to a Chicago City Council ordinance, introduced by Mayor Richard M. Daley, donating a vacant 3.4-acre parcel at 1939 W. 13th Street for the campus. In addition to ESMC board and staff members, Newcastle also worked with Chicago-based SCB Architects to create the master plan for the campus and design of its first facility. The $17 million first phase will combine a two-story, 45,000-square-foot day school, serving up to 150 students, with research space and Easter Seals offices. The facilities will incorporate features such as acoustic and lighting controls, flexible classrooms, and therapy and exercise areas to address the special needs of children with autism. Executive Construction Inc., based in west suburban Hillside, will build the facility, scheduled for a 2008 completion.Newcastle also assisted ESMC in its efforts to obtain $7 million in financing from Harris Bank and a $4 million grant from the State of Illinois. Future phases will add two residential buildings, a gymnasium and pool. Completion of the campus is projected for 2011.
About Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago provides comprehensive services for individuals with disabilities or special needs and their families, to improve quality of life and maximize independence. The organization offers programs including specialized therapeutic schools for children with autism, emotional behavior disorder and/or severe learning disabilities; early intervention; occupational, physical and speech therapies; inclusive child care; specialty clinics; adult job training and placement programs; inclusive daycare, and after-school and outreach programs. More information is available at www.eastersealschicago.com.
About Newcastle Limited
Chicago-based Newcastle Limited is a national real estate firm serving institutions, corporations and investors. The firm’s real estate advisory, development and investment services enable clients to maximize asset value and reduce project risk. More information is available at www.newcastleinvestors.com.