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Pathfinder Village to use $2.2 million in donations for school renovations and preschool

By Eric Reinhardt


Pathfinder Village in Edmeston says it’ll use two anonymous donations totaling more than $2 million to expand and renovate Pathfinder School. The project will include a new preschool. The organization expects crews to complete the project by fall 2020, as part of the Village’s 40th anniversary year. (Photo provided by Pathfinder Village)

EDMESTON, N.Y. — Pathfinder Village in Edmeston in Otsego County will use two anonymous donations totaling $2.2 million for an expansion project.

Construction will start in the spring of 2020, with expected completion in the fall of next year.

The project will include an expansion at Pathfinder School for a new preschool, new spaces for the Village enrichment department, and to complete renovations to existing classrooms “and other enhancements,” per a news release.

 “In the coming months, planning and contractor procurement will take place,” Paul Landers, CEO of Pathfinder Village, said in the release. “The main entrance and administrative offices will be relocated to the east side of the building to accommodate student drop-off and pick-up, and to provide a single, secure point of entry for all students, staff, parents, and visitors.”

Pathfinder Village says it is a residential community and services provider that offers individualized, high-quality services to people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

“The new preschool will be on the west side of the existing building and will accommodate up to 24 students in an inclusive setting that will serve all children, regardless of their abilities,” he said.

The new preschool will also have a new outdoor play area, specifically designed for young children. Crews will build a new art room and therapy rooms to accommodate services for older students and enrichment programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

Pathfinder Village was approached more than a year ago by an anonymous donor inquiring about funding a preschool on the Pathfinder campus, Landers noted. At the same time, a second donor approached Pathfinder about a planned gift to be used exclusively for educational purposes.

“After careful thought and consideration, our board and leadership team thought it was a wonderful opportunity to bring these two generous gifts together to make important renovations to the school’s existing structure, which will meet our current students’ needs, as well as allow us to keep up with current learning trends,” said Landers. “The opportunity to serve a new population of children through the preschool will be a great addition to the Pathfinder campus and the community at large.”

About Pathfinder School

Pathfinder School first opened in 1980 as part of Pathfinder Village’s initial phase of construction. Over the years the school says it has become a “valuable” resource to the state’s public-school systems. “Numerous” students attend Pathfinder School from area school districts that are unable to meet students’ specialized needs or provide individualized supports, the organization contends.

Students at Pathfinder School are evaluated before it develops “specially tailored” individual education programs (IEP) in conjunction with their home districts and Pathfinder School staff, per the release.

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