WXXI AM News

Lifetime Assistance breaks ground on day center expansion

Aug 18, 2021

Credit Caleb Parker / Lifetime Assistance

Lifetime Assistance held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion and renovation of its Lowry Center. The adult day center located in Clarkson serves about 90 people with severe developmental and physical disabilities.

The $2.7 million project is the first part of the agency’s Independence Together initiative, which will upgrade and modernize its three largest day centers in Monroe County. The Lowry Center project will feature a 6,800-square-foot addition and renovations to make the space more accessible.

James Branciforte, CEO of Lifetime Assistance, said they sought input from the people they serve and their families who expressed the desire for an open concept design.

“The building was kind of a classroom model,” said Branciforte. “They were dated, they were small, they were cramped. A lot more people use wheelchairs than when we started four decades ago. So we found there certainly is a better way.”

He said community engagement was most important to families so the upgrades will include a dedicated space for community inclusion.

"These include dedicated music, arts and culinary suites for classes, concerts, dining and community interaction,” said Branciforte.

The additional space, he said, will give the people they support more opportunities to work with SUNY Brockport and other groups within the community.

 Susan Smith’s daughter, Amber, attends a program at Lowry, and said the day services center is a safe place for her daughter to grow as an individual and that they’re excited for the new upgrades.

“The expanded addition and changes will give our daughter and others even more opportunity to learn, grow and interact with the new design, with open concept and specialized rooms for gardening, cooking and creativity,“ said Smith.

Construction on Lifetime Assistance’s two other centers, in Chili and Greece, will start following the completion of the Lowry Center.

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk