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(Canada) Quebec: Autism center planned; officials 'simply delighted' 'very proud'

Dec 23, 2021, Laval News: Construction of Giant Steps Autism Centre gets underway https://www.lavalnews.ca/construction-of-giant-steps-autism-centre-gets-underway/

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Dec. 13 marking the start of construction of the Giant Steps Autism Centre, a new facility that supporters say will make Quebec a leader in autism education, research and services across Canada. Excavation work began this month and the doors of the centre are scheduled to open in the summer of 2023. A state-of-the-art building with a surface area of 66,500 square feet is being erected in the Technopôle Angus neighbourhood of the City of Montreal’s Rosemont district…. The Giant Steps Autism Centre will offer lifelong services grouped into four areas: the Giant Steps School, the Adult Education and Employment Centre, the Resource and Community Centre and the Research and Innovation Hub…. With a major investment of $15 million by the Quebec government as well as contributions from donors from the private sector and the autism community, 84 per cent of the total fundraising goal has been reached, although more than $7 million is still to be raised…. ‘Simply delighted,’ said Metropolis Minister “A few weeks after announcing the government’s investment in the construction of the Centre À pas de Géant, we are already at the ground-breaking, and I am simply delighted,” said Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region Chantal Rouleau who was among those attending the groundbreaking. “I am very proud that this project is taking root here in Montreal, at the heart of one of our most inclusive living environments,” she added. … “This is a major milestone not only for the Giant Steps Centre, but also, and especially, for young people living with an autism spectrum disorder and for their families,” Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge said in a statement. “These young people will soon have access to a school environment designed and built with their specific needs in mind. I am very happy for the young people who will attend this school. The support they will receive there will enable them to develop their full potential.”… Giant Steps has been regarded as one of the leaders in autism education for more than 40 years. The school’s intensive educational and therapeutic programs, offered in both French and English to 90 students ages 4 to 21, are recognized as unique in Quebec and have been emulated worldwide. “Giant Steps provides a learning environment where the diversity and unique strengths of each individual are celebrated,” said Thomas Henderson, director-general of Giant Steps School. “Today’s event reminds us that we will soon be able to do more and better to enable people with autism to develop to their full potential.”