Seward Announces Pathfinder Capital Grant

James L. Seward

July 18, 2008

At Pathfinder Village in Edmeston, State Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C-Oneonta) announced $100,000 in capital funding for renovations and improvements to two of the nine residences on the Edmeston campus. Seward was joined by Pathfinder Village CEO Edward A. Shafer, directors and staff.

"The funding will make a material difference in the lives of residents and produce economic benefits for the area," Seward said. "Pathfinder Village has a mission that is significant and needed as our society enfolds those with Down Syndrome. In addition, the facility has a significant economic impact on our area that we want to continue."

"This grant represents an exciting new era of growth for Pathfinder Village. We are grateful to Senator Seward and the State of New York for helping us gain this funding, and to all who believe and support our mission of providing lives of independence and quality for people who have Down syndrome," said Edward A. Shafer, president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder Village. "The residential homes of the Village 'set the stage' for our very successful programs in education, employment, recreation and socialization for the residents. Many of our village homes were built in the early 1980s -- they are beautiful and well maintained: Through the addition of private bedrooms and apartments, we will be able to offer the residents living spaces that are more in-keeping with today's expectations."

The residential repairs and upgrades, estimated to cost $100,000, will target the first residential living areas built at Pathfinder more than 25 years ago, when they accommodated 60 residents. With 80 residents in the homes, more space is needed and the senate funding will pay for additions on two of the dwellings. The renovations funded by the senate assistance will assure a single room for each resident of the targeted homes and ensure that Pathfinder Village remains competitive.

The upgrades are part of an overall $1.25 million investment in the campus’s infrastructure over the next four years that will add space to the Village’s ten homes. The balance of the need will be drawn from fundraising and state OMRDD assistance.

Seward noted that Pathfinder Village has 185 employees (130 FT) and an annual payroll of $4 million, providing a significant payroll wallop on the area. Construction will result in additional jobs and local purchases.

"This is economic assistance and it fills great human services need," Seward said. "I am glad the senate could assist."

The funding is from the state’s capital program for economic assistance. It will be administered by the state dormitory authority.