Aspire building project hits halfway point

April 12, 2017

PHOTO BY PAUL HALLORAN
Construction of the new headquarters for Aspire Developmental Services is expected to be completed later this year.

By PAUL HALLORAN

LYNN — Aspire Developmental Services is halfway to completing its $4.3 million headquarters on Franklin Street.

When the renovation of the former O’Keefe Alternative School is finished, the nonprofit will have 15,000 square feet of space, triple its home on Johnson Street. The new building will allow Aspire to provide twice as many play groups for children receiving early intervention services, and space for parent training.

Aspire purchased an adjacent lot last year for $141,000 which will be used for parking, and an expanded playground, according to executive director Lori Russell. She said the three child care classrooms will have direct access to the playground.

“We’re hoping to have it completed by late summer and to be in the building by early fall,” Russell said.

Landmark Structures Corp. of Woburn is the general contractor and Benjamin Joyce serves as project manager.

“They have been excellent to work with,” she said.

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The project received a huge boost last summer when the organization won a $1 million grant from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp. (CEDAC), the Boston-based community development finance agency that assists nonprofits, in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund, a CEDAC affiliate.

Aspire is in the midst of a $2 million capital campaign for the building project, having raised about $1.3 million so far.

“Our fundraising is ongoing,” Russell said. “We appreciate the support of everyone who has gotten behind this project.”

Aspire has been serving children with developmental needs and their families since 1951. Last year, the organization provided services to nearly 2,000 children.

Its mission is to provide early intervention services to children up to the age of three. Children served are eligible for a variety of reasons, including Down syndrome, autism, hearing and vision loss, speech and motor delays, and mental health issues.