SCARC Breaks Ground on Community Center

May 15, 2018

New center in Augusta will serve adults and children with developmental disabilities

Last year, SCARC celebrated sixty years of providing services and supports to adults and children with developmental disabilities in Sussex County.  This year, they are continuing their long term commitment, by launching the construction of a new Community Center.  The new Center will allow them to respond to the ever growing demand for services for individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages.  Currently serving over 650 individuals, SCARC’s existing facilities have reached their capacity and do not allow them to meet the increasing need for community-based services and supports.  Families are struggling to find appropriate supports within the currently limited availability in Sussex County.  This new Center will allow SCARC to continue their efforts to nurture the potential of all individuals with developmental disabilities.

The new Center will offer a wide-range of services.  Teen Scene and Weekend Recreation programs will offer age-appropriate options for children and teens and provide a much needed break for their parents.  Day Habilitation and Prevocational Training services will respond to the needs of individuals over 21 by offering meaningful activities and learning opportunities. Seniors with developmental disabilities, looking for less intensive activities or who wish to retire from employment, will be able to participate in projects and hobbies geared toward their particular interests.

Besides including three large activity rooms, the new Community Center will provide the facilities necessary to meet the care and planning needs for individuals with diverse physical, medical, cognitive, and behavioral needs.  Two training kitchens, a quiet room, a laundry room, changing and personal care areas, a conference room, and office areas will be included within the 16,000 square foot building.  The two-story Center will be located on Route 206, next to the SCARC main office, in Augusta, New Jersey.

It is projected that the new Community Center will cost $3.45 million. A U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan has been secured to cover a large portion of the cost. However, the support of the community is needed to help meet all costs of the new Center.  In response to this need, SCARC has launched a Capital Campaign.  Community members are invited to help SCARC with their mission, to provide high quality services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families in Sussex County, by contributing to the SCARC Capital Campaign.  Donations of any size are welcome.  In addition, SCARC offers the opportunity to make commemorative gifts.  Donors have the option of making a Sponsorship gift of a room or area of the Center and having that gift permanently recognized on a plaque in the Center’s lobby.

Commemorative gift opportunities include:

  • Activity Room 1         $100,000
  • Activity Room 2         $100,000
  • Activity Room 3         $100,000
  • Kitchen 1                     $25,000
  • Kitchen 2                     $25,000
  • Quiet Room                $15,000
  • Personal Care Area   $15,000
  • Conference Room     $25,000
  • Office A                       $10,000
  • Office B                       $10,000
  • 2nd fl Offices 1—8    $10,000 each

The new Center will be named The Richard and Susan Lecher Community Center in recognition of the dedicated leadership and service, of SCARC’s president and CEO, Dr. Richard Lecher and his wife, Susan. The SCARC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to honor Dr. Lecher and his wife Susan for his forty-five years of dedication, guiding SCARC’s steady growth from serving a small group to serving hundreds of individuals. During those years, SCARC gained a distinguished reputation for providing quality services and supports, and has earned the respect of the community for the critical resource it represents in Sussex County.

Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families deal with lifelong, life-altering challenges.  Finding appropriate supports and services in their own communities in Sussex County is critical to meeting care needs and attaining quality of life.  SCARC’s new Community Center will contribute to increased availability and improved options for individuals and their families. The services and supports offered there will join the legacy of caring and commitment that SCARC has been known for since 1957.