Plans underway for new $3M centre to assist Islanders with intellectual disabilities

A non-profit organization that assists Islanders with intellectual disabilities has outgrown its current location in eastern P.E.I. and is hoping to build a larger, more accessible facility.

Inclusions East says it has outgrown its current building in Montague

A rendering of a proposed 10,520-square-foot building that would replace the Kingswood Centre in Montague. (Submitted by Inclusions East)

A non-profit organization that assists Islanders with intellectual disabilities has outgrown its current location in eastern P.E.I. and is hoping to build a larger, more accessible facility.

Nancy Anderson, executive director of Inclusions East in Montague, made a presentation to Three Rivers council Monday night. It included plans for a $3 million building to replace the 43-year-old Kingswood Centre, as well as a new independent living centre that would provide beds for 11 people.

The Kingswood Centre is the "main activity hub" of Inclusions East, teaching skills such as baking and woodworking and providing other support to help clients become self-sufficient.  Anderson said it's difficult for Inclusions East to fulfil its mandate in the current building.

"The drive to replace the building, it's not just a matter of 'Oh we would like a new building,'" Anderson said. "The drive behind it is the lack of accessibility that we have in the current building. It was built in 1976 at a time when accessibility had a whole different meaning."

30 clients a day

Anderson said there are about 30 clients who use the centre daily.

Nancy Anderson, executive director with Inclusions East in Montague, says the organization needs a better facility to help support Islanders with intellectual disabilities. (Submitted by Nancy Anderson )

Inclusions East has applied for federal funding for the proposed 10,520-square-foot building. It has received funding commitments from the local rotary club and the Windsor Foundation, and would welcome donations from other businesses and organizations.

Other money will be raised through fundraisers and loans, she said. The building would go on more than half a hectare of land near the Kings County Memorial Hospital that was donated by developer Tim Banks.

The new building would include training areas to help people find jobs, a Snoezelen multi-sensory environment, as well as music therapy and literacy programs.

Inclusions East has asked Three Rivers council to exempt it from paying municipal tax for the next 10 years, as well as a grant for $50,000 over five years for water and sewer and street lighting.

The proposed residential complex would be about 9,000 square feet and would include eight one-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom apartment.

Need for accessible housing

Anderson said the residence would help address the growing need for accessible housing on the Island.

"Throughout Prince Edward Island there are many adults with an intellectual disability who may be still living with a parent who is aging, and at any time their health status may change which would create crisis for the family if there's not plans for what is going to take place for that individual."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin


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