By Julia Harris, Staff Reporter Delaware Valley Friends School (DV Friends) and The Timothy School, both located within a minute’s drive of Conestoga, applied for government funding in July 2022. Each institution was awarded a portion of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, administered by the PA Office of the Budget for regional economic, cultural,...
By Julia Harris, Staff Reporter
Delaware Valley Friends School (DV Friends) and The Timothy School, both located within a minute’s drive of Conestoga, applied for government funding in July 2022. Each institution was awarded a portion of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, administered by the PA Office of the Budget for regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman awarded a $2.5 million grant to DV Friends, which helps students with learning disabilities. Paired with support from donors, the money will fund the school’s upcoming campus renovations, expansion and stormwater management projects. Lisa Howell, Director of Marketing and Communications for the school, believes the changes will greatly benefit the larger community along with the students and teachers at DV Friends.
“Stormwater runoff is a well-known issue across Tredyffrin Township that has been a focus of community groups, and in this project, we will meaningfully improve stormwater management and retention on our property that directly affects our neighbors within the context of a bigger project to improve our campus,” Howell said.
Shusterman also awarded a $750,000 grant to The Timothy School, a school for students with autism. The school will use the majority of the money for a renovation and expansion project. Sarah Greim, executive director of The Timothy School, has worked there for more than 21 years.
“Our current school building is the former township building,” Greim said. “The Timothy School moved into there about 25 years ago and renovated it to classrooms, but they are not like traditional school classrooms. So, renovating the building and expanding (the school) will help to make more advanced classrooms for our students.”
The schools hope to begin the projects as soon as possible, but the major changes will have to wait for when school is out of session this upcoming summer. Greim expects The Timothy School’s renovations to be highly beneficial for students.
“The Timothy School works with students with autism, so they have highly specialized needs. The hope is that these new classrooms and the new school building will be better fitted to meet their needs,” Greim said. “For the staff and the teachers, it will be better equipped to help them help the students.”
Both schools are also hopeful that the changes will lead to an increase in student populations. Once the renovations and expansions are complete at The Timothy School, it is hoping to add around 15 students to its current 70-student population. DVFriends simply hopes to be able to keep growing.
“We see ourselves as part of the local community and so we see it as an important part of our role to be there for local students who need the specialized education we provide,” Howell said. “The campus expansion and renovation project will enable the school to continue its trajectory of growth and serve even more students who fit our profile through expanded and improved facilities.”
Julia Harris can be reached at [email protected]
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