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of director s. In the early 1990s, we were ser ving about 75 individuals in the south county administration building in Venice ,” said Loveland Village President/CEO Daniela Koci. Sarasota County provided manufactured por tables for staff and in 1999 administrators needed the space back. So the founders and the community got together and star ted a $2.1 million capital campaign to create the campus that exists in Venice today. They achieved great success and were able to construct the fir st building completely debt-free . “It was called Loveland Center because it was a central location that provided secondary education for people with developmental disabilities,” Koci said. “We operate similar to a college campus and we have multiple classrooms with computers. Our classrooms are geared to assist every individual we serve and we strive to work with them to achieve their individual life goals.” The organization ser ves clients aspiring to obtain a job in the community and learn new skills with the goal of eventually living independently. Until June of 2016, all of the students lived with their families, in apar tments, group homes or assisted living facilities. The complex built last summer is currently filled to capacity available and houses 63 residents. There are 42 units with 94 bedrooms. Koci said when the organization announced it would be accepting residents in the spring of 2016 staff received 60 applications on the fir st day. “That’s when we decided to call it a village because it ser ves adults with both intellectual and developmental disabilities, many of whom reside here full time. We’re not just a day campus anymore. We provide different phases of education for each client. This place really wouldn't be what it is without our donors, volunteers and our amazing staff," Koci said. Progr ams offered include adult day training in an ar t studio, computer room and social activities inside a recently built clubhouse that holds up to 300 people . Students get to pr actice handwork and manual dexterity skills and learn to conceptualize and carr y through with tasks. "They get to express their creativity and they really enjoy The complex built last summer is currently filled to capacity and houses 63 residents. There are 42 units available with 94 bedroom. 62 GASPARILLA ISLAND March/April 2017


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