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Golisano Autism Center to be built in Rochester

Rendering of future Golisano Autism Center to be located on South Avenue near Science Parkway
Rendering of future Golisano Autism Center to be located on South Avenue near Science Parkway

Several agencies are working together on a new facility to provide comprehensive services for the more than 10,000 people diagnosed with autism in the Greater Rochester and surrounding area.

The Al Sigl Community of Agencies, along with the Mary Cariola Center, AutismUp and CP Rochester are collaborating on the new Golisano Autism Center to serve the greater Rochester region.

The Tom Golisano Foundation announced the Paychex founder and philanthropist has provided a $2.5 million dollar challenge grant for the project, in addition to the first gift toward the challenge of $500,000.

The 25,000 square foot facility will bring a wide array of coordinated services from several agencies under one roof, according to AutismUp Executive Director Sarah Milko.

"Autism up focuses on the social and recreational portion of programs for individuals with autism, CP of Rochester brings speech, and occupational therapy and physical therapy, a whole different layer of pre-school.  Educational services will come from Mary Cariola, and Al Sigl obviously brings the facility management piece," she said.

Sarah Milko of AutismUp
Sarah Milko of AutismUp

Mary Walsh Boatfield is President and CEO of CP Rochester.

She says a child with autism and their family, may visit more than five providers in different locations before the age of 5, and double that before they turn 21.

"Parents are traveling all over our region to receive services and now they'll be able to receive all these services in the same place," she said.

Project partners say this will complement UR Medicine's newly opened Neuromedicine and Behavioral Health Center in Brighton

It's expected the Golisano Autism Center will open in the fall of 2018.

Video from WXXI's Martin Kauffman: 

This story was produced by WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.