One of the region’s most respected organizations providing services for disabled children and adults is relocated its headquarters to Garden City with the help of the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

Town Supervisor Kate Murray welcomed the decision of the Working Organization for Retarded Children and Adults (WORC) to establish its corporate offices at 1501 Franklin Avenue in Garden City. Currently located in Lake Success, WORC will finance the acquisition, renovation and equipping of the office building with the issuance of tax except bonds authorized through the town’s IDA.

“Our ability to provide access to tax exempt bonds has made this project viable,” Murray said. Timing was important too. “We turned this project around, from application to IDA board approval, in 35 days,” said Fred Parola, the IDA’s executive director. “We believe this is unprecedented!”

In addition to expanding services for developmentally disabled adults and children, the relocation will bring 70 jobs to the Town of Hempstead. WORC will move from a 16,000 square foot building to the three-story office building in Garden City that provides 24,000 square feet of working space as well as an 8,000 square foot basement, according to Peter Smergut, executive director. The cost for purchase and renovation will be $5.5 million. The building will be ready for occupancy in March of 2004.

WORC is a not-for-profit corporation which provides residential and day programs for developmentally disabled children and adults in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The organization operates 29 residential facilities, housing adults 21 years of age and older. It also operates an after school program and offers in home support services. For heavily burdened caregivers, WORC conducts a weekend respite program, providing support for those who car for persons with special needs. A pre-employment program prepares qualified individuals with training for entry into the workplace.

“WORC gives its disabled clients a real opportunity to live independently,” said Murray. “We in the town are proud to partner with this wonderful organization.”