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The Arc of the Ozarks has plans in the works for a multimillion-dollar autism clinic in Springfield.
President and CEO Mike Powers said the nonprofit is fundraising to match a $5 million grant approved by the state legislature.
"From our standpoint, this is a fantastic opportunity," he said. "It helps to get, hopefully, people seen earlier, which is so critical and important."
The Arc of the Ozarks, which provides support for people with disabilities, already has raised $2 million of the matching funds toward the $10 million project. The nonprofit has purchased the future clinic’s property, Empower: abilities' former building at 2864 S. Nettleton Ave., Powers said. The building has been vacant for more than a year since Empower: abilities relocated across the street, he said.
A July 1, 2023, opening is targeted for the autism clinic, Powers said. Q & Co. LLC is serving as general contractor for the remodeling of the building designed by Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective, he said.
The Arc of the Ozarks is partnering with Mercy Springfield Communities and Missouri State University to provide care at the clinic, which would have comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and advocacy services.
The clinic would fill a need locally, said Powers, noting families often have to drive out of the area for services and can be met with long wait times.
"Early intervention is so important," he said.
Tim Dygon, executive vice president for the nonprofit, said one goal of the facility is to eventually become the seventh state-funded autism center. That would require The Arc of the Ozarks to meet required criteria for best practice standards and advocate for legislative action to classify the center as a state-funded autism center, he said.
"This grant is to get us started," he said.
The Arc of the Ozarks ranked No. 1 this year on Springfield Business Journal's list of the area's largest charitable nonprofits. The organization reported 966 employees and an operating budget of $68.2 million for the Jan. 24 list.
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