Supporters and staff there are determined to bring that to fruition via capital campaign.
The initiative’s title, “Our Home Their Future,” essentially says it all, said Tracy Wilbanks, the school’s development director.
“It’s really reflective of the need that Cumberland Academy fills. … [The school] does make such a difference,” said Wilbanks, a volunteer-turned-staffer.
Cumberland specializes in the needs of children with high-functioning autism, Asperger’s, LD, ADD and ADHD in grades four through 12.
The campaign is aimed at accommodating the growth the fully accredited institution has undergone since its founding in 2007 with three or four students. The current student population there totals 80.
“Many of [Cumberland graduates] will go on to college or career opportunities,” Wilbanks said.
She referenced the academy’s stated mission: to provide a safe, supportive, educational environment in partnership with faculty, staff, students and parents.
The $2.5 million targeted sum of the capital campaign — slated to run two years — includes the recent purchase of the two-story, 49,000-square-foot facility on Mount Vernon Highway it had previously been leasing. Much-needed renovations and updates to the 40-year-old structure housing classrooms, offices, a gymnasium and kitchen area are also part of the agenda.
Should things go according to plan, Cumberland’s student body will begin to benefit from lighting and electrical upgrades, a new HVAC system and improved classroom features the next two years.
The long-term implications, as demonstrated by the school’s balanced, student-tailored curriculum, likely equates to even greater rates of success.
“The Cumberland family embraces the uniqueness of every child by challenging and inspiring them to reach their full potential,” Wilbanks said. “Our academic and social curriculum encourages the development of life skills essential in becoming independent and self-sufficient adults.”