The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by Ernie and Liezl Els and has since embarked on a catalytic philanthropic project – The Els Center of Excellence – launching a capital campaign to raise $30 million to finance the facility.
The Els’ have already committed $6 million of their own money and the Center of Excellence is now moving inexorably from concept to reality, the construction team first breaking ground on site in March 2014 (photo below).
Once completed, the Els Center of Excellence will provide a uniquely designed on-site educational program for 300 children on the autism spectrum ages 3-21. It will also bring together the critical components of early intervention, transition to adulthood, medical and professional services, and adult services all on one campus. At its heart will be a multi-faceted global outreach program that will make best practices in education and therapy available to children, families and autism experts both in the U.S. and internationally.
The Center will integrate unique architectural components to create a learning environment specifically designed for children on the spectrum, and will include the technology, space and design components that will enable the Center to connect the international autism community with best practices and the latest information and research.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony marked the start of construction of the Lower School and Center of Excellence Auditorium building that will be at the heart of the global outreach programs. The goal is to have these in operation by mid 2015. In the meantime, the capital campaign continues to ensure a continuous build schedule for the Upper School, the sports facilities, the medical and professional component and the adult services program.
For information on the Capital Campaign and its programs, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-598-6200.
To view The Els Center of Excellence online brochure, please click here.