When the Center for Developmental Disabilities (CDD) completes the long-awaited renovation at its Woodbury campus, a well-known Farmingdale resident will be looking on with pride.
Vincent Sotis, Farmingdale Village trustee and retired Farmingdale architect, has been serving as an advisor to the building project through his role as a member of the board of directors of the center. During a recent tour of the campus, he and CDD officials described the renovation, and how it will enable the center to better meet the needs of the approximately 100 developmentally disabled children it serves.
The five and-a-half acre Woodbury campus functions as a year-round school, complete with such amenities as a horticulture therapy center and a playground donated by parents. It also has a residency for about 30 of the children. It has been under construction for about a year, following the approval of a state 853 Dormitory Authority Bond to cover the costs. The project, which was proposed about 7 years ago, was prompted by a need to come into compliance with current health and safety requirements, and is expected to be completed by the fall. It includes such expansion as the addition of new classrooms and dormitory style apartments. It will also provide more room for therapy and will make way for gymnasium/auditorium space.
"I think there's going to be all sorts of positive things happening. We're really excited. I know the staff is really looking forward to having all of this new space," said Patrick Berry, director of the center's children's day programs. "We're building it for the children."
He added that volunteers on the board of directors, such as Sotis, have played a key role in the project, and have worked well with the builders and staff. "Vince has just been remarkable," he noted. "He brings to us a great expertise in terms of being the architect."
L. James Stowell, executive director of CDD, added, "It's good for us when we have an active board, and Vince has been very active, and we appreciate it."
Sotis noted that he has learned much through his involvement. "It's been an eye opener. It's been very enjoyable," he said. "These people are dedicated. They're very dedicated, and been very impressive to me, from the executive director on down." He anxiously awaits the completion of the construction, because, he said, "It's been disruptive to the existing facilities, and that's the worst part."
Founded four decades ago, the Center for Developmental Disablities services consist of the Children's Day Program and Children's residences in Woodbury, Adult Day Services in Hicksville and adult group homes in various residential neighborhoods on Long Island.