Business plan for new Sunrise Centre under way

The steering group will lead the effort on the plan for the new Sunrise Centre.

Plans are under way to create a new and improved Sunrise Adult Training Centre, with a committee being formed to work on an outline business case for the project.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs last week, the goal is to provide a purpose-built center that can support and develop independent living skills for clients, provide therapeutic and recreational programs, and enhance and develop social and interpersonal skills.

“The establishment of the Steering Committee is a significant step in this project which has been needed for quite some time. It is evident that there is a genuine need for a purpose-built facility to cater to the needs of the clients of the center,” said Minister of Education Tara Rivers.

She said the 28-year-old program had operated for the last 15 years out of a partially retrofitted duplex. While clients and staff had done their best, “despite these restrictions and challenges,” she said, the demands for access to the programs had grown substantially and the center “cannot operate much longer under current conditions.”

Cabinet approved a “strategic outline case” for a new facility on March 1 and gave permission to proceed with developing an outline business case. A request for proposals was issued inviting consultancy services to help develop an outline business case, “to review the cost implications of available options for a facility in a more centralized location, the expansion of program services, and increase in client enrollment,” the release stated.

Options for public-private partnerships and ways the wider community can contribute to the project will also be explored.

Acting director at the Sunrise Centre, Kim Voaden, said, “Based on the current waitlist, anticipated graduation rates from Lighthouse School and present enrolment at the Centre, as well as referrals from the community and mainstream education, we anticipate that the Centre’s enrollment will grow, and that potential clients on our waitlist will be served once suitable facilities and staffing are provided.”

The committee consists of representatives of the Ministry of Education, staff and clients of the Sunrise Adult Training Centre, Public Works Department, Planning Department, Lighthouse School and Special Olympics Cayman Islands.