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Spring Bellows of Sycamore prefers the new location.
"It's much more spacious," Bellows said. "It doesn't seem like you're bundled up in a small room all of the time, and it's much safer, and it's much more handicap-accessible."
With the extra space, Shipman said he will be looking to do more to serve the needs of people with autism.
“We have the space for that, which we didn’t have before,” Shipman said. “Whatever their needs are, we’ll try to address them, whether it’s community employment or daily activities."
The nonprofit's board of directors launched a fundraising campaign in June 2016 to help with the renovation costs. They fell short of their $1.8 million goal by about $117,000, but they still are trying to collect. During the open house, Shipman said he’d like to put up a graphic near the entrance of the building to show spectators how close the organization is to its goal.
Tom Matya, chairman of the board of directors, said he is very pleased with the finished building.
“From a board perspective, I’m proud of this, and this project will ensure service that will be provided to individuals for decades to come, and we’re very proud of that.”