Young Adult Center opens in Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich school and community leaders launched a new young adult center Friday, promising services to students who, in the words of one official, “have been under-served for a long time.”

Programming at the center, which officially opens in March, will concentrate on three preparation areas: employment education and independent living. According to a news release from Lake Zurich Community Unit District 95, the facility will provide programs for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) who are eligible for transition services after their high school graduation.

“This center is really going to serve a population of students that deserve a facility like this,” said school board President Doug Goldberg during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site located at the corner of South Old Rand and Surryse roads. “They've been underserved for a long time. We're so proud that we can have the resources for taxpayers to build to make a facility like this into reality.”

Previously, transition services were provided to these students within the existing high school, but space was limited, according to Executive Director of Communications Jean Malek.

Malek noted many other districts in the area have separate facilities or at least dedicated spaces within the existing high school to serve this function.

“Our staff had the hope that one day we would have a facility that would be here to support our students in the age group of 18 and 22,” said District 95 Superintendent Kelley Gallt. “They're no longer high school students. They deserve their own space, their own opportunity to grow and learn into adulthood.”

Illinois state Superintendent of Education Tony Sanders, who was among dignitaries on hand at the ceremony, said he recently submitted a budget including students from 18-22 for the first time. Previously, the state budget only allotted for K-12 students.

“The ability to have a center where our students can learn the life skills to be successful, to be independent and to get back to their communities is a great investment,” Sanders said.

Several students who expect to participate in the programming were on hand at the ceremony and said they were looking forward to a space where they can learn life skills like cooking, paying taxes, socializing and more.

  Lake Zurich Community Unit District 95 superintendent Kelley Gallt, left, visits the common room with other officials during an opening ceremony for the district's new Young Adult Center Friday. Paul Valade/
  Charlie Sims, left, and Harrison Brodeur cut the ribbon to open the Lake Zurich Community Unit District 95 Young Adult Center Friday. The two will use the services provided at the new center. Paul Valade/
  Illinois state school Superintendent Tony Sanders speaks to the crowd gathered for the opening of the Lake Zurich Community Unit District 95 Young Adult Center Friday. Paul Valade/
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