Construction Kick-Off Event Marks Biggest Expansion in Bancroft’s 133 Year History
Mount Laurel, NJ – With hands in cement, children from the Bancroft School, together with dignitaries and Bancroft leadership, marked the future of the organization with a construction kick-off event in celebration of the new $75 million Bancroft Campus at Mount Laurel. The expansive, 165,112 square foot, 80-acre site is slated to open in early 2018.
Bancroft, the oldest and one of the largest regional providers of services and programs for children and adults with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurological conditions, welcomed over 150 guests to the active construction site to celebrate the start of next chapter in serving those with special needs.
“Nearly a dozen years ago, we became acutely aware of the need to meet the growing demand for special education and autism-related services and the need to do so in facilities inspired by the distinct challenges of the children and adolescents we serve,” said President and CEO Toni Pergolin. “Our vision for this campus is to go beyond that to create a regional destination of hope for families in the broader autism and special needs community.”
More than a relocation of The Bancroft School and the Lindens Center for Autism – presently on Bancroft’s legacy Haddonfield campus – the new campus will include specialized indoor and outdoor play areas, a sensory-friendly activity pool, and residential facilities designed expressly for students who receive integrated therapy, behavior support and daily life skills and socialization training. The campus will also include the Bancroft Training Institute, a medical suite for daily treatment and desensitization.
Students at The Bancroft School come from every county in New Jersey as well as from throughout greater Philadelphia and other states. The Lindens Center for Autism is a pediatric residential program through which Bancroft serves children and adolescents with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities who are in crisis and in need of acute behavior stabilization. Including the Lindens Neurobehavioral Program, one of few like it in the country, and Campus Residences, the new Lindens Center allows for the separation of therapy work from living and personal space.
Beyond the special education and behavioral stabilization programs, Bancroft plans to offer recreation and socialization classes and workshops, after school and weekend respite, family and sibling programs and resources to all those in the autism and special needs community.
“As Autism rates continue to rise, so does the need for creative solutions, integrated education models and a focus on the whole child, including helping each of them find outlets for fun and friendship in everyday life,” said Pergolin. “We believe a holistic approach combined with innovation supports our promise to provide the best possible atmosphere for each student to learn, thrive and reach his or her fullest potential.”
“Bancroft has been a trusted partner for so many individuals and their families for more than a century. This expansion will enable Bancroft to provide much-needed services for even more people across Southern New Jersey and the entire region,” said Rep. Donald Norcross of New Jersey’s First Congressional District. “I join with Bancroft celebrating this new chapter and the promise of expanded, compassionate care offered by the Bancroft family.”
Construction funds for the Bancroft Campus at Mount Laurel are derived from bond financing, the sale of the Haddonfield campus and the One Can Change the World capital campaign launched in early 2016. The campaign has raised $7 million of the $12 million target in the first year.