It was standing room only on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, as Chapel Haven cut the ribbon on the newly constructed Welcome Center.
Featured speakers included Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, State Sen. Richard Blumenthal, State Representative Patricia Dillon, and Mayor Toni Harp. Also on the speaking program: Alderman Richard Furlow, Diana Davis Spencer (mother of Kimberly LaManna), Abby Moffat (Kim’s sister) Board Chair Peggy Baker and Harriet Schleifer, parent and board member.
Chapel Haven President Michael Storz and Chapel Haven adult Andy Auerbach served as emcees.
Click here to see coverage of the event on WTNH News Channel 8: http://endplay-cms-upload.s3.amazonaws.com/20001/178/18/02/05/1821316/1821316_2C9D76D02536435EB5E523B022113629_180205_1821316_Chapel_Haven_Welcome_Center_Ribbon_Cutting_600.mp4
ASAT graduate and community member, Thomas Ice, entertained the crowd with an original composition, entitled “Summer Wind.:
More than 100 people thronged the cozy space, including Chapel Haven families, staff, adults and friends. Refreshments of hot cocoa and cookies were served and visitors had the chance to sign a special commemorative book.
A grateful Chapel Haven President Michael Storz said the ribbon cutting marks a significant milestone as Chapel Haven expands significantly. “We are turning a leaf in Chapel Haven’s playbook, charting the next 45 years of excellence in our field. It may sound trite, but there’s an old saying – ‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Today, this Welcome Center is filled with giants.” He thanked the parents, staff and early investors who pledged the capital to launch Chapel Haven’s expansion.
Chapel Haven is proud to be underway with a major expansion that comprises the construction of several new buildings on the footprint of our Westville campus. Phase 1 will deliver this July a new, 32,500-SF REACH residential and classroom campus to house Chapel Haven’s REACH program, which for 45 years has helped adults with cognitive and social disabilities learn to live independently.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp attended the event and said “Chapel Haven’s involvement with these residents is consistent with my vision for this city, and for its legacy of acceptance, tolerance, and assistance for those in need — regardless of where they’re from, what they look like, or the language they speak.”
Chapel Haven drew lots of media coverage. To read a front-page story in the New Haven Register, click here: http://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Chapel-Haven-cuts-ribbon-on-new-welcome-center-in-12548207.php
To see coverage on WTNH News Channel 8, click here:
The New Haven Independent covered the story and included some wonderful photos. Click here to see the coverage:
The Connecticut Post also promoted the event. Click here: http://events.ctpost.com/event/ribbon-cutting-new-welcome-centerfebruary-2-20185a571d0bd3217
“Chapel Haven really was the first agency of its kind — you have never wavered in your belief that adults with disabilities deserve happy, productive lives,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said. “The impact of your work reverberates through our community. You are such a critical part of our city, and I will always be in your corner.”
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said Chapel Haven is a “place filled with heroes.”
The new Welcome Center, also part of Phase 1, is completed and serves as the new gateway to our campus. In Phase 2, expected in the fall of 2018, Chapel Haven will break ground on a new, four-story residential community designed for older adults. Along with apartments, clinical space and community services, this addition will be universal in design and layout, and will be intergenerational, where adults with disabilities can flourish into their senior years in a vibrant and non-institutional setting.
State Rep. Patricia Dillon was greeted with great fanfare by a grateful Chapel Haven community. She loved seeing all the CH adults accompanied by their parents and siblings.
Parents Peggy Baker (also board chair) and Harriet Schleifer spoke at the event, along with Diana Davis Spencer (mother of Kimberly LaManna) and Abby Moffat (Kim’s sister). All four are early investors in Chapel Haven’s expansion.
“I can’t think of an organization that has managed to raise $36.5 million in support of a belief – that Chapel Haven should be a pioneer in serving adults through their life span,” Peggy told the cheering crowd. “That is an amazing promise that took a lot of work to bring to fruition. It could not have happened without passionate parents, many of whom are in the room today.”
Chapel Haven Parent Harriet Schleifer said, “As we talked about the need to expand the campus, we knew that we wanted to capture the feeling of inclusion and community that is so prevalent here. So that’s why we created the welcome center. Today, it is my fervent hope that when new families walk through these doors, they will feel the commitment and care of our community – that this is their new home in a place where they are understood and valued.”
The Welcome Center, designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative, is an exciting and welcoming introduction to the Chapel Haven campus and community. This new addition is punctuated by a curved glass lobby and reception space that immediately draws you in from the outdoor “living room”. A stone hearth and built-in seating are intended to make you feel safe and at home. A gallery for showcasing resident artwork connects to a new multi-media presentation room. The project is being designed by the S/L/A/M Collaborative and built by S/L/A/M Construction Services. The owner’s representative on the project is Leland Torrence.
Alderman Richard Furlow also attended and spoke about how Chapel Haven is surrounded by a warm and welcoming neighborhood. He was instrumental in helping Chapel Haven secure approvals to undertake the expansion with the City. Alderman Furlow represents our neighborhood and most recently, was elected Majority Leader on the Board of Aldermen.
The ribbon cutting was followed by a hard-hat tour of the new REACH building that was popular and well attended!
Founded in 1972 in a house on Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education school with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ). Read more at www.chapelhaven.org.