New Easterseals campus opens in Machesney Park

More local students with autism spectrum disorder and their families will have access to educational services after Easterseals Academy opened the doors to its new facility in Machesney Park.  

Easterseals Academy announced its new location at 8301 Mitchell Road today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The school has grown from 34 students to 90 in just five years – much of that growth occurring at the previous location at Patriots’ Gateway Center in Rockford.

Forty-one local school districts contract with Easterseals Academy to assist in providing year-round educational programs for students ages five to 21 with an autism spectrum disorder, emotional disability, developmental delay or intellectual disability. The program provides an alternative school placement in order to help these students academically, socially and vocationally.  

Village President Steve Johnson applauded Easterseals’ decision to locate in Machesney Park. “We are excited for Easterseals new campus and we welcome the employees and students to Machesney Park. Easterseals is an incredible asset to the region.”

In addition to serving an increased number of area students, the expanded Machesney Park campus will also create additional jobs for the region. Officials anticipate adding 30 employees to its staff of 107 local workers.

“We’re very excited for the opportunity to serve more families and positively impact the lives of even more young people in the Rockford Region with this move,” said Easterseals President and CEO Tim Muri.

Easterseals acquired the 27,500 square-foot building on 19 acres of land earlier this year. The Machesney Park campus features a full-sized gym, stage, playground and additional areas for vocational training. Easterseals Academy students will also be able to enroll in art classes and adapted physical education at the new facility.

For more information visit eastersealschicago.org.

–Staff report

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