Rich Center for Autism to Begin Renovations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Rich Center for Autism at Youngstown State University has raised 53% of its $7 million capital campaign to renovate Fedor Hall and will begin construction in the spring.

Once the project is complete, the Rich Center will double its enrollment, says Melanie Carfolo, executive director.

The renovations will include the addition of an elevator, thanks to a donation from the Hine Memorial Fund. Also planned are $1 million worth of renovations to the roof, flooring and fire suppression system that will be funded from YSU’s biennium budget.

The Rich Center provides services to improve the quality of life for children with autism and their families.

Its goals for 2020 include continuing its investment in the PLAY Project and Teaching PLAY. The two programs, funded by United Way, help children reach their full potential, according to Carfolo.

The programs are based on four principles: the child finding fun in learning and development; putting in a minimum of 10 hours a week in active engagement; individualized play; and meeting the child where he or she is at developmentally.

PLAY Project is home-based, while Teaching PLAY is classroom-based.

The Rich Center also plans to hire additional staff to improve the classroom experience.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.