Cunningham opens $14 million facility


URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The red ribbon was cut this morning at Cunningham Children’s Hospital’s new school facility.

The Noel Education Center is the new home of the Gerber School and Circle Academy. To celebrate the opening, tours were held to give members of the community their first look. This have been part of their master plan since 2001. The new facility cost a total of $14 million. Just over half of that is being raised through gifts.

Both schools in the new center are built for kids with behavioral challenges. To go along with the classrooms, they also have sensory rooms for students that need emotional breaks. Gerber Principal Jennifer Rohn says the extra accommodation will benefit her students.

“If kids get overwhelmed in the larger classroom space,” says Rohn. “We have a whole tier of options we can utilize in different spaces for them to work one on one with a teacher or teacher’s assistant to better meet their needs and help them regulate.”

Students that attend Gerber stay on Cunningham’s campus as well. On average, they stay with the schools for around 18 to 24 months. Rohn says their goal is to help kids adjust and be able to attend public schools again.

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