Sunshine Village expands day programs in Agawam; MassDevelopment announces financing
August 13, 2019 : The Republican, by Jim Kinney
|Agawam - This 17,744-square -foot former office building at 588 Silver St. will be the location for a Sunshine Village community and life engagement day program serving 150 adults. Financing is through MassDevelopment. (Don Treeger/ The Republican)|
AGAWAM — Sunshine Village is about to start renovations on a 17,744-square -foot former office building at 588 Silver St. that will, by January, be the location for a community and life engagement day program serving 150 adults.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, announced the expansion for Sunshine Village on Tuesday. MassDevelopment aided in the project by issuing a $1.22 million tax exempt bond purchased by Westfield Bank to finance the project.
Sunshine Village bought the building July 15 from ECS Realty Inc. for $1.5 million, according to a deed on file at the Hamdpen County Registry of Deeds.
The building was previously the home of Environmental Compliance Services Inc.
MassDevelopment's involvement helps Sunshine Village, which serves more than 500 adults living with intellectual disabilities or with autism, finance the project at a lower interest rate, said Sunshine Village Executive Director Gina Kos.
"We are excited about belonging to the greater Agawam community," she said.
Sunshine Village will close its program in Westfield, she said, and move about 40 people from the day program there to the new Agawam site in October.
From there, renovations will continue, and she hopes to begin accepting new clients into an expandged Agawam program in January.
All of Sunshine Village's current day programs are full, she said. And the Agawam location helps the organization serve people from Agawam, West Springfield, Westfield and Longmeadow.
Sunshine Village's headquarters are on Burnett Road in Chicopee. It's got branches on Main Street in Chicopee, in the Three Rivers section of Palmer, in Springfield and the Westfield program that will close when Agawam opens.
Sunshine Village's programing is open to those 22 and older. Its participants age out of the school systems when they turn 22, Kos said.
"We do plan on having some really unique and innovative programing," she said.
Programs included life skills like using a washer and dryer, sewing glasses, horticulture, culinary, art and music therapy.
Sunshine village offers occupational and physical therapy, Kos said.
Within three years Kos hopes to have a gym and an art studio at the Agawam location.
Sunshine Village has two supportive employment programs, a cleaning service that works at Westover Air Force Reserve Base and a fulfillment service, Kos said.
Sunshine Village has 275 staff and a $14-million annual budget funded by the state Department of Developmental Services and federal MassHealth, Kos said.
MassDevelopment provided Sunshine Village in 2017 with a $2 million tax-exempt bond, which the organization used to make interior and exterior renovations to its Davis and Casey buildings in Chicopee.