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HomeCity and State Gov'tSpecial Olympics Arizona’s new facility to announce a $1 million investment

Special Olympics Arizona’s new facility to announce a $1 million investment

Governor Doug Ducey last week visited Special Olympics Arizona’s new facility to announce a $1 million investment in its Healthy Athletes program. The funds will help the organization provide those with intellectual and developmental disabilities with critical services including general and mental health, physical therapy, dental health and vision.
Phoenix Business Journal: Special Olympics Arizona unveils facility, receives large grant from state
Audrey Jensen
Phoenix Business Journal
March 23, 2022
Special Olympics Arizona, a nonprofit organization that provides services to people with intellectual disabilities, recently unveiled its new 15,000-square-foot state headquarters in Goodyear.

Located at 2455 N. Citrus Road, the new building is comprised of Special Olympics Arizona office and distribution center located across the road from the Perryville prison in the West Valley.

Although the facility commenced construction in 2019 and opened in March of 2020, the organization said it wasn’t able to unveil its new facility until this year due to Covid-19.

The office and distribution center will provide statewide support for programs and events for Special Olympics athletes and for community and sporting events focused on inclusion, according to the organization. It will also serve as a center for distribution services, uniform production and equipment.

On Tuesday, Special Olympics Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry and The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, held an official grand opening for the new building.

Jamie Heckerman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, said the idea that started in 2018 to create a home for Special Olympics Arizona “quickly came to fruition.”

Heckerman said the process began when they initiated a proposal to the Arizona Department of Corrections to acquire donated land and create a lease agreement for 20-plus years.

“With the land secured, it was time to turn to a great community partner, Thunderbirds Charities, for funding support and their largest gift ever of $1 million,” she said at the event.

Heckerman said Special Olympics Arizona operates the facility to support more than 21,000 athletes across Arizona with intellectual disabilities in year-round sports training and competitions.

Other contributions
In addition to the Thunderbirds gift, Heckerman said they received in-kind donations from JE Dunn Construction, the general contractor, and an inmate crew who helped complete the facility. Arrington Watkins Architects was the architect.

After Special Olympics Arizona proposed legislation, Ducey also announced on Tuesday that the state is giving the organization a $1 million grant to expand the Healthy Athletes Program, which provides various health services. The funds are allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“With the opening of this new facility, Special Olympics Arizona is giving more Arizonans the opportunity to compete in sports, and they’re providing underserved groups with other critical resources that aren’t widely available to them,” Ducey said.

Special Olympics Arizona said the grant will ensure vital health screenings for 1,000 athletes, health education for 1,500 students, provider training and experience opportunities for 300 health care students and professionals and expand mental health provider access, screenings and education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Heckermen said the large grant will help them expand their programs for athletes and train physicians in the community. The facility currently has 30 employees.

“We’re going to hire additional staff and ensure that we can continue to train physicians that are in the community to work with our population so they actually get the care they need when they go home, because a lot of times physicians aren’t trained in medical school or equipped to deal with certain disabilities, so it’s challenging,” Heckermen told the Business Journal.

ADCRR also created a work crew with people who are incarcerated to conduct equipment inventory, repair and management for the building.

Read the full article here.

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