A local organization that supports those with intellectual disabilities has filed an application to establish a learning center and additional office space in a Canton Springs Road building.
has applied to establish the uses at 15 Canton Springs Road, the site of . The learning center is allowed by “special exception” and would require a public hearing, which town officials said will likely be set for the next zoning commission meeting Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
According to an application filed with the town’s land use office, the organization would offer “active learning programs” for students and adult learners with intellectual or other disabilities or medical complications.
FAVARH executive director Steve Morris said the organization offers similar services in other locations but as it experiences growth, the accessible building offers a good fit for its programs, which would likely start small.
"It’s a good space for that,” Morris said.
The biggest change it would be looking for is to pave the driveway and give the handicapped accessible vans adequate space to drive in and turn around, Morris said.
The learning center will focus on life skills, Morris said. The facility would serve as a day-time base, since the goal of FAVARH is to get out into the community as much as possible, Morris said.
In other facilities where learning is provided much of the time is spent at places like grocery stores and post offices, where clients can learn skills and work on social interaction.
“Out emphasis is always getting people integrated into the community as much as possible,” he said.
The facility would not replace any others, Morris added.
“It’s a sign of our growth and modest expansion,” Morris said.
Although it has facilities in other towns, FAVARH is based in Canton and runs a thrift shop here.
“We have a really nice relationship with the Canton community,” Morris said.
Morris estimated that FAVARH employs about 250, including part time and substitutes.
In addition it runs micro businesses and works with area businesses to provide approximately another 100 jobs for clients, Morris said.
“It’s a positive sign tat we’re seeing some growth and we’re putting some of that growth back into Canton,” he said.
The organization has a contract to purchase the 7,000 square-foot property, according to documents filed with the town.
Find out more about FAVARH at http://www.favarh.org/