Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center eyes second facility - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center eyes second facility

Posted: Updated:
ROANOKE, VA -

A local organization that helps children with autism and learning disabilities says it's time to expand.  The Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center wants to open a second facility in the Roanoke Valley to help teach students critical life skills.

Their idea is transform a house into an offsite residential life skills center where students could spend the day learning how to cook, clean, do laundry, and garden among other things.

"We really want a facility that's set up to be like that so it's not really a school," said Craig Balzer, Chairman of the BRAAC Board.  "It feels more like where they would be in their home.  And we don't [currently] have that here."

The center would be geared towards older students.  Balzer says programs for autistic and developmentally disabled teens and young adults are far and few between -- and this would give them something to help transition from school life to adult life.

"We like to think these children are moving on to another form of education that really allows them to start becoming a little more independent," said Balzer.  "And it also helps their parents and their families."

BRAAC has expressed interest in purchasing a property for sale on Olsen Road, down the street from their existing center.  The property would have to be rezoned before they could move forward with those plans.

The Roanoke County Planning Commission is slated to make a recommendation on the zone change in August.  The Board of Supervisors will then have to approve it.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, April 11 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-04-11 14:53:45 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Virginia Tech Researchers Find The Best Way to Catch Stink Bugs

    Virginia Tech Researchers Find The Best Way to Catch Stink Bugs

    Monday, April 7 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-04-07 17:08:15 GMT
    Virginia Tech researchers in the entomology department have studied several different options for catching stinkbugs in your home and came up with one very simple option that will cost you about seven
    Virginia Tech researchers in the entomology department have studied several different options for catching stinkbugs in your home and came up with one very simple option that will cost you about seven dollars. After two years of studying three different traps the most effective one involved a turkey roasting pan, half gallon of water, and some dish liquid. Tonight more on the tas