BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Easterseals Central Illinois will have a new location in Bloomington on St. Joseph Drive, in what will be a 75,000 square foot shared space with the Bloomington-Normal YMCA.
Leaders wtih Easterseals said the more than 9,500 square feet the organization plans to occupy will help the children they serve, like Reece.
“He’s a really caring kid, wants to make sure that everybody feels happy, and that he he’s not upsetting anybody,” said Reece’s Mom Dezi Knipe.
Knipe said through Easterseals diagnostic clinic, she found out her son has Sensory Processing Disorder, is autistic, and had a little speech delay.
“He learned to speak early, learned all of his numbers and letters early, and then started regressing, so that’s when we really noticed it, so the first thing we kind of hit on when we went to Easterseals and got that diagnosis was that speech therapy,” said Knipe.
She said through Easterseals, Reece has benefited from not only speech therapy, but occupational therapy, counseling, and even feeding therapy to help get a more diverse food pallet.
“To be able to see him verbally socialize with other kids, become really self-reliant in the last year, start to understand that he can do things on his own, those are things we didn’t know we’d be able to get,” said Knipe.
Amber Gruenloh, Community Vice President for Easterseals Central Illinois, said they try to make the services they provide fun so the children they provide for want to be there.
“If Reece didn’t find it fun, he would not find success, and that’s true within school and education, but it’s also particularly true in the environment of Easterseals Central Illinois in the therapy and services we provide,” said Gruenloh.
She said their new space will allow for not only growth, but will allow them to increase on the fun factor with space for basketball courts and a pool for aquatic therapy.
“This building is huge and when Reece walked through it, the most exciting part about it for him is the basketball courts, and how big the gym is, and he’s super excited about that, the pool is gonna be immense help for our natural environment therapies as well, early intervention is gonna be a big thing that you see us roll out in this building as well, and be able to grow in that space as well,” said Gruenloh.
Leaders with Easterseals are hopeful the new building to be open to the public around June.