Great Lakes Autism Center sitting area

Great Lakes Autism Center

Transformed from an abandoned Moose Lodge, this residential facility is specifically designed to be a temporary home for children with severe autism.

The residents range in age from 7 to 17. During their stay they receive intensive behavioral modification therapy, so it’s important that the building feel as comfortable and home-like, yet be durable and resilient. The environment is both safe and welcoming. The goal is to return children to their personal homes or appropriate long-term homes.


Budget: $1.9 million

Completion: September 2012

Size: 18,400 sq. ft.


  • Private bedrooms in neighborhoods to allow groupings by age, gender, or behavioral challenges to ensure maximum care and comfort
  • Shared commons areas including a large family room, den kitchen, and dining room
  • Sensory room with calming colors and quiet environment
  • Motor skills area for physical activity
  • Classroom for special education learning
  • Treatment and observation rooms for one-on-one therapy
  • Outpatient clinic to help autistic children and their families improve their quality of life
  • YEAR : 2012
  • LOCATION : Portage, MI
  • TYPE : Remodel
  • PORTFOLIO : Community