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May 2010
Housatonic Academy Expansion Project Close to Completion 05/06/2010

The expansion of the Housatonic Academy Campus on West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield is close to completion and on schedule to open in June.

Housatonic Academy is the area's only therapeutic day school and serves students from Berkshire County.

Hillcrest President Gerard Burke said, "The reason for the expansion is simple - we hope to provide more services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We know that many families seek these services and the new wing will be completely devoted to supporting those students."

The 2,000 sq. ft. addition to the structure at the Housatonic Academy will include two regular classrooms, a sensory room, computer lab and a handicapped-assessable bathroom.

Housatonic Academy Program Director Allison Billard said, "The sensory room will calm or stimulate an individual so they can better process information while in the classroom. The expanded computer lab will allow us to make sure our students have the right educational resources. This means we can differentiate the instruction and provide our kids with academic work at their level, so they will always find success."

Billard said, "We follow the same curriculum frame-work as Massachusetts public schools, but our students have intense behavioral needs. The expansion will allow us to serve up to 35 students, which is ten more than we can support today."

Burke said, "Families throughout the region have come to depend on the services provided at Hillcrest. We are pleased to offer a larger and better equipped facility to help us live up to our commitment to aid children and families suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders."

Burke added, "This focus on ASD will be a tremendous asset for Berkshire kids. As the expanded facility allows us to bring in more students, we will be adding more full-time staff positions, thus allowing us to maintain our low student-to-staff ratio. What sets us apart from others is the individual attention we can provide to our students."

An open house celebration will be held in June.

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