TRACKS autism, an independent local charity and early years centre for children with autism or related conditions, has opened the doors to its new, state-of-the-art centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
Building and refurbishment specialist Conamar undertook the refurbishment works, transforming a disused office block on Boulton Road.
The new centre has been designed to provide the children that attend TRACKS autism, along with their families, with a calm and supportive environment to grow, learn and thrive. It offers a variety of functional space for children’s activities, which incorporates TRACKS interactive and multi-sensory approach to learning through play, and includes an outside play area that incorporates a covered play space.
Parents now have a separate room to meet and chat over coffee – this space also incorporates a library with related reading material – and staff now have a designated office space and meeting room. There will also be a room for visiting therapists to use while working with children and parents.
Internal works on the project included adjusting partition walls to provide a better internal layout for the change in use, heating and ventilation system upgrades and other associated mechanical and electrical works, new plumbing installations for the centre’s wet rooms, as well as new flooring, doors and redecoration throughout to provide more welcoming surroundings.
External works include the installation of ramps for easy access into the nursery, as well as artificial grass in the play area, a figure of eight race track, a large sandpit and a shed for children to put their toys in.
New fencing to the perimeter has also been built to ensure that the playground is secure at all times.
Mervyn Terrett, Chairman at TRACKS autism, said: “The joy of our 35 children when entering Tracks House for the very first time was brought on by its double transformation. Firstly, by the superb and speedy work of Conamar, who not only completed the job on time and on budget, but whose staff were a delight to work with. And secondly, the significant donations and grants from generous people who put their trust in us to deliver. Our heartfelt thanks are only matched by the wonder on our children’s faces.”
David North, Contracts Manager at Conamar, said: “The generous donations received from the public has allowed TRACKS to open its new state-of-the-art nursery, which will not only improve the learning and play environment for local children, but it will also provide a welcoming and supportive environment for parents.”
The £400,000 project has been funded through a number of fundraising activities, including a star-studded evening hosted at the Lord Mayor of the City of London’s official home. Actress, writer, baker and entrepreneur Jane Asher is a patron for the charity and was in attendance at the event held in July 2014 – since completion, she has expressed her support and excitement for the new centre.
Conamar has also donated to the charity following the completion of the new nursery. It saved the sum by sending Christmas e-cards instead of posting them.
Mervyn Terrett added: “We have been delighted to accept this donation, especially as this comes at such an exciting time for our charity. They have worked superbly in order to get our new premises into tip-top condition and we are excited that the next phase of our history can take place.”