Machesney Park (July 21st, 2017) –The Village of Machesney Park is pleased to announce that Easterseals Academy has acquired the former Hilltop Ministries church and school in Machesney Park on Mitchell Road to accommodate the relocation of their autism school. The acquisition of the 27,500 square-foot building, located on 19 acres, will provide for the organization’s growth and expansion.

The campus, located at 8301 Mitchell Road, will help Easterseals continue to meet the increasing demand for services. Easterseals Academy has grown from 34 students to 90 in five years, much of that growth occurring at the current Patriots’ Gateway Center location in Rockford.

Forty-one local area school districts contract with Easterseals Academy to assist in providing year-round educational programs for students ages five to 21 with an autism spectrum disorder, emotional disability, developmental delay or intellectual disability.

“Easterseals has been a leader in providing services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities for more than 25 years,” said Easterseals President and CEO Tim Muri. “Easterseals is proud of the work we do in the Rockford Region, serving more than 2,800 local families, across our four programs. We are delighted with the support we receive from the local community, which helped make the expansion of Easterseals Academy possible.”

The new campus in Machesney Park has a full-sized gym, stage, playground and additional areas for job and vocational training.

Village President Steve Johnson applauded Easter Seals’ decision to locate in Machesney Park, “We are excited for Easterseals’ new campus and we welcome the employees and students to Machesney Park – Easterseals is an incredible asset to this region” said Mayor Johnson.

“Our students will continue to benefit from Easterseals Academy’s individualized curriculum and activities,” said Principal Jacque Ruch. “We are delighted with the additional opportunities available to our students with the purchase of our very own campus with plenty of places for them to live, learn, work and play.”

Easterseals Academy currently employs 107 local employees. After the expansion of the campus, Easterseals anticipates hiring another 30 employees.

“The Village and the Easterseals’ team have very worked hard throughout the construction process to meet deadlines and provide for a smooth transition into the building,” said Community Development Director James Richter II.

Easterseals will be hosting a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 25th, at 10:30a, immediately following a news conference at the new campus.

About Easterseals

Easterseals serves 33,000 clients annually in programs across Chicagoland and the Rockford Region in Illinois and Northwest Indiana, proudly employing over 600 dedicated professionals since 1936. Easterseals is the indispensable resource for people and families facing disability. Through the work we do in our local communities, Easterseals is changing the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day. Join us as we take on disability together at

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