Yorktown-based Guiding Eyes for the Blind will hold a groundbreaking for the first phase of its expanded Canine Development Center facility Friday
The $7.8 million renovation will nearly double in size — from 16,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet — the facility where prospective guide dog puppies are born, socialized, screened and placed in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers.
The project will integrate buildings and landscape into a cohesive campus on 30 acres in Patterson. Construction is planned in three phases to allow program operations to continue:
The first phase this spring is the Whelping Kennel and Outdoor Enrichment. Phase 2 in 2012 is the Breeding and Puppy Socialization Kennel, a two-story building. In 2013, a1,500-square foot veterinary hospital will mark the last phase.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind , an internationally accredited nonprofit guide dog school, was founded in 1954 to enrich the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and expanded horizons of opportunity. Since that time, Guiding Eyes has become one of the foremost guide dog schools in the world, graduating more than 7,000 guide dog teams. It provides superbly bred Guiding Eyes dogs, professional training and follow-up support services to students at no cost to them and depends on contributions to fulfill its mission. The comprehensive cost of breeding, raising, preparing, training, and supporting a Guiding Eyes team is $45,000. Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Headquarters and Training Center is located in Yorktown Heights.