The Arc of Loudoun has broken ground on its new Aurora Behavior Clinic in the 145-year-old Carlheim Barn at the historic Paxton Campus.
The nonprofit will renovate the old stone barn to house a new clinic to help students who are not enrolled in programs at Paxton like Aurora School or Open Doors, which serve children with disabilities or on the autism spectrum, but who still need help fitting into more traditional school environments.
It will also bring diagnostic and prescription services to Paxton, helping families skip the months-long waiting period for a diagnosis before treatment can begin, and bringing all of their students’ and families’ needs into one place.
Arc of Loudoun Executive Director Melissa Heifetz said it will be “a center like no other in this county.”
“This project has been a labor of love that has taken a team of people a long time to get to this point,” Heifetz said. “It started with my predecessor, [former executive director] Jennifer Lassiter, and our architect Beckham Dickerson going through the long process of getting our plans reviewed and approved because of the historic nature of the structure. But we are finally here.”
Kendra McDonald, the clinic’s future program director, said the clinic will extend the services of the “best talent in the area” working at Arc of Loudoun to the community.
“What we’re going to do is, we’re going to use those same talents, those same services, that same dedication to those students in the Aurora School, and we’re going to bring it to the behavior clinic, so that we can now serve more children in the community,” McDonald said.
The project is made possible by grants from the Community Development Block Grant, the Paxton Trust, and the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, as well as donations from individual community members.
“What you all do day in and day out is really God’s work, it really is,” said Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large). “It takes a level of patience, it takes a level of skill, it takes a level of integrity, that most people—you just don’t find that with everybody. And mostly, it takes a level of love.”