IONIA, Mich. (WOTV) – A groundbreaking celebration will be held Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Freedom Acres School as the Ionia County Intermediate School District breaks ground for renovation and an addition to the building. The celebration will be a fun, family-focused event that will include a storyteller, music, food as well as a short ceremony.
“Our students and parents are very excited about this event, and we would love to see the community come out to have fun and learn about all of the great things happening at Freedom Acres,” says Angela Miller, principal at Freedom Acres.
According to Miller, students will now have the opportunity to ride their adaptive bikes and have increased movement in the newly added Move Room. Technology will be taken to the next level with a new wing being equipped with innovative and current educational technology.
“Our stakeholders, school family, and community members will enter through a new secured entrance and be welcomed into a warm and inviting office complex,” says Miller. “We are very excited to get our construction project underway.” says Ethan Ebenstein, superintendent of Ionia County Intermediate School District.
“As both the number and needs of our learners have increased at Freedom Acres as we serve our local districts, we identified that we needed to improve and expand the educational environment for our students. The addition of the new wing and renovations to existing space will allow us to implement instructional best practices in a safe well-designed environment that meets the diverse needs of our learners.” The $7 million dollar construction project is being paid for through capital improvement funds the district has been saving for the past few years and the sale of bonds this Fall. No additional tax dollars were requested or levied on county residents for the work being completed at Freedom Acres School. The intermediate school district is working with Triangle as its construction management representative and GMB Architecture and Engineering for design.
“I personally want to acknowledge and thank past superintendent Jason Mellema as well as our Board of Education for identifying the building needs and having the foresight to begin setting funds aside to address those needs,” says Superintendent Ebenstein.
About Freedom Acres School: Freedom Acres School serves students with severe cognitive impairments, intensive autism spectrum disorders and severe emotional impairments. Operated by the Ionia County Intermediate School District, it provides educational services to students from the county’s five local districts including Ionia, Belding, Lakewood, Portland, and Saranac.