A nine-year dream is finally coming to fruition at Little Flower Children’s Services of New York.
The school, located in Wading River, is adding a wing with six new classrooms to its existing building. The school will also be renovating the entire interior, superintendent Cindy Stachowski said.
“It’s all good stuff,” she said of the project at a groundbreaking event Friday morning. “I’m excited for it.”
Currently, classrooms are all different sizes, but will be redesigned to become the same size, allowing for more one-on-one instruction, she said.
All the classrooms will also get new windows and flooring, and be made handicap accessible if they aren’t already. The original building at Little Flower’s Wading River campus was build in 1950 and a second wing was added in 1992.
“Right now I have a child that has to go outside in inclement weather,” Ms. Stachowski said. “That’s inexcusable in my book.”
Work on the addition began this week, she said. Weather permitting, interior work in both the existing building and its new wing will take place this summer.
The renovations cost $5.1 million and are funded through a loan that will be paid back in tuition payments made through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), Ms. Stachowski said.
Little Flower was founded in 1930 and has four locations — Wading River, Brooklyn, Jamaica and Hauppauge. It is a not-for-profit charity serving children, families and developmentally disabled adults. They provide foster boarding home care, residential treatment care and, where appropriate, adoption.
Friday’s groundbreaking event was attended by State Senator Kenneth LaValle, Assemblyman Anthony Paulmbo, members of The Little Flower Board of Education and others.
Mr. LaValle, who’s been involved with the project since its inception in 2007, spoke to the importance of Little Flower and its services.
“Little Flower is a very special place for me,” Mr. LaValle said, noting that Little Flower becoming a Union Free School District was one of the first tasks he was assigned 40 years ago. “The school is also someplace very special … like everything that goes on here, it’s an incredible, incredible place and the young people who have been helped are today good citizens.”
Ms. Stachowski announced that Mr. LaValle was also donating a van to the district, which is expected to arrive in a few weeks.