Golfer Ernie Els is closer to seeing his vision for a $35 million autism school and research center in Palm Beach County become reality.
Construction of the Els Center of Excellence is expected to begin in April, the Palm Beach Post reported. Plans call for two schools, a driving range, an athletic field and medical research facilities on 27 acres north of Indiantown Road and east of I-95 near Jupiter Community Park. When it opens in time for the 2015 school year, as many as 300 students with autism will attend the Els Center.
Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously approved the project in May.
Els and his wife Liezl have raised substantial money for autism through their foundation since their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism five years ago. The schools would be the first in the county for children with autism that covers first grade through high school and assists with the transition to adulthood.
A four-time major winner, Els owns a residence in Jupiter. [Palm Beach Post] — Eric Kalis