Roger Slingerman, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy Central California cuts a ribbon Wednesday at the nonprofits future home in Northeast Fresno. Photo by Breanna Hardy

published on June 23, 2022 - 3:05 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

United Cerebral Palsy Central California started in 1954 with one program to cater to people with the motor disability. It will soon be able to move into a new facility to accommodate growth. 

It has grown to include nine programs for children and adults, each designed to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The facility at 2044 E. Nees Ave. was purchased for $6 million last year from The Well Community Church. The church is still leasing the building until it moves to a new campus that is currently under construction near Nees and Minnewawa avenues near Buchanan High School. 

“UCPCC has outgrown its current facility and is ready to expand to allow for increased services and more programs for UCPCC students and the community at large,” said Kelly Cunningham, director of adult programs at UCPCC. “And with this facility becoming available in light of The Well’s future move, it’s the perfect time to make a change.”

UCPCC will try to fundraise another $1.5 million for renovation costs to best fit the needs of the students. 

Roger Slingerman, executive director of UCPCC, said the public will start to hear of fundraising opportunities in August. 

The expanded facility will allow the student intake to nearly double from 150 to nearly 300. He said the center will also serve the greater community as a place for food trucks and music.

The facility will feature 10 teaching classrooms, a teaching kitchen, arts and craft studios, an events theater, performance studios, a computer lab, gym and communal dining rooms. It will house 70 on-campus staff and caregivers.

“We want it sustainable. We want it so that 30 years from now, when I’m long gone, there’s people here providing service for people with disabilities,” he said. 

Expanded parking and the neighborhood’s safety is a plus, Slingerman said. 

“It’s a really exciting time for us. It’s a long time coming and gives us an opportunity to be able to grow and meet some of the community needs as well for persons with disabilities,” Slingerman said. 

He hopes to officially move into the facility next spring.

“We need that extra money so that we can do the right things and it lasts forever. That’s what we want,” he said.

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