Family Initiative, Inc. celebrated a construction milestone on November 13th when the painting of the building’s exterior was completed at the Family Initiative Autism Support Center project. The building is located next to the organization’s current headquarters at 730 SW 4th Street, just off Pine Island Road and Skyline Boulevard in Cape Coral.

The new 3,900 square-foot facility will be the area’s first-of-its-kind hub for championing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. It features three cutting-edge clinical rooms for direct, evidence-based assessment, therapeutic interventions, and advanced staff training not previously available anywhere in Southwest Florida.

“In partnership with our ASD families, every square inch of the new center has been painstakingly engineered to support individuals on the autism spectrum — from its home-like comforts and soothing paint colors to its sophisticated security features and advanced equipment,” explained David Brown, MSW, president of Family Initiative, Inc.

“We’re so thankful for generous community supporters who’ve connected with our vision to create an inclusive, world-class ASD program that adheres to the highest clinical standards and best practices. We look forward to soon hosting community conversations, educational forums, and support activities when the center launches,” Brown added.

Funding for the $400,000 project was sourced through a mix of state and private funds. Former Member of the Florida State Senate, Lizbeth Benacquisto, for whom the building is named, championed efforts to secure project funding from Florida. Dane Eagle, former member of the Florida House of Representatives, and Benacquisto’s successor in the Florida State Senate, Ray Rodrigues, also worked to obtain state funds for the project.

Fort Myers-based Burt Hill/Pollock Krieg Architects provided design services, and Banks Engineering contributed pro bono site work. Mays Construction is the builder. Build-out of the interior space continues. Construction of the Lizbeth Benaquisto Family Initiative Autism Support Center is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Grand opening celebration events are being planned for early 2021