The Re-dedication and Rebranding of the E. John Gavras Center.
In 1953 we began as a Cerebral Palsy clinic and that reputation has carried forward, teaching people of all ages the skills they will need to live their life to the best of their ability. Today we are more than our founding fathers could have ever imagined. The growth we have experienced over the past twenty years has established us as a premier provider of preschool and adult programs, both for the disabled and non-disabled.
Our focus remains, to assist all individuals and families to reach their potential and beyond, with encouragement and support from Gavras professionals. We are now on a new chapter in Gavras History, a journey that started over two years ago with community needs increasing in the child care area. Timing to address these needs arrived and Gavras rose to the challenge. With over sixty years of experience in working with children, providing innovative preschool programming while utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, we elected to expand and increase capacity. Original design included renovating newly acquired space into a motor therapy area, as well as updating classrooms housing half day programs, renovating a classroom to accept full day programming and renovating a thirty-year-old playground. This project was designed to increase capacity from approximately seventy preschool children to one hundred preschool children. As the process unfolded, we had the support of the State Education Department, local foundations and the State of New York through a Consolidated Funding Application.
Our imagination was challenged even before we broke ground to start renovations. Working with local school districts, families of preschool children and the county, it was apparent the need was going to be greater than we originally anticipated. We’ve increased classrooms from four to seven, including two slated for full day programming, creating a larger and more expansive motor area and increasing capacity for preschool children to one hundred twenty-eight on a daily basis. Included would be wrap care, for families in need of additional support for their preschooler.
Even though our project nearly doubled in size, during construction of a building built in 1974, we uncovered several surprises. Not unusual, but again, challenging. So our $1.5 million project grew slightly larger and having started in late spring of 2018, will be completed by summer of 2019 at a final budget of $1.8 million. Needless to say, we are still being challenged to raise a little more to complete a vision that addresses community needs and leaves the Gavras Center at the forefront of programming in our community. Our campaign will remain open throughout 2019 and please know, the Gavras Center was first and foremost throughout the campaign, committing over 20% of the funding towards the final project budget.