Charles R. Cono Center for Research & Life Planning Ground Breaking in California


Marking a new chapter in the realization of life quality for those with autism and other developmental disabilities, the Training, Education & Research Institute (TERI, Inc.) today officially broke ground on construction for the Charles R. Cono Center for Research & Life Planning. Set on 20 acres in North San Diego County, the $50 million campus will directly address the crisis of a growing and aging population with autism and other developmental disabilities by providing a comprehensive array of services and support programs covering their entire lifespan in a dynamic location.

“We believe this university-like campus will be an internationally recognized resource for research, education, training and life quality – something that simply doesn’t exist today,” said Cheryl Kilmer CEO & Founder of TERI. “This is a new model for delivering the services we’ve developed over the past 30 years, and incorporating the ever-evolving programs we develop to meet the needs of our clients and their families as they age.”

The campus includes an exciting variety of state-of-the-art facilities; fitness, arts and education, life quality planning, applied research, childhood development, equestrian therapy, horticulture, culinary arts, extensive vocational training opportunities and aquatics. Through onsite and online training and vocational programs, it will serve children and adults internationally along with their families.

The first phase of construction, launched with a traditional ‘Barn Raising’ celebration featuring clients, staff, community leaders and partners, includes development of The Harriet E. Pfleger Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The Center will include six stalls, a pony parlor washroom, veterinary center, riding arena and walking trails, and picnic patio.

All aspects of the center emphasize sustainability – from its design and construction to horticultural programs and vocational training in green careers for clients. Design incorporates sensory gardens displaying original artwork, sculpture, and unique water features, and hiking trails through lush orchards. Nearly 80 percent of the grounds will be reserved for natural open spaces, providing a relaxed, therapeutic setting.

Services and programs include:

  • Education: Specialized schools and vocational training.
  • Caregiver and Family Education and Services: Through the International Association for Life Quality, the campus will provide life quality coach certification programs and life quality planning for families.
  • Health & Fitness: A two-story, 23,000 square foot Fitness Center with stadium seating, a full gym and conditioning weight room, a dance studio, indoor sport court and indoor two-lane track. Also a 6,000 sq. ft aquatic center offering therapeutic activities in three pools, a yoga studio, sensory therapy room, spa facilities, chiropractic treatment center and juice bar.
  • Culinary Education: Culinary school including a commercial kitchen, organic herb and vegetable garden and cafe which will supply healthy and nutritious meals for students, staff, and visitors.
  • Arts & Adult Education: Combining music, art, fitness and recreation and vocational opportunities to reinforce basic life skills and enhance independent living skills for individuals aged 22 through retirement.
  • Vocational Training: All elements of the campus will provide job training opportunities in a wide array of occupations including food service, horticulture, and administration.

The campus is named in honor of the late Charles R. Cono, a San Diego entrepreneur and philanthropist who contributed $5 million toward the center’s construction. An additional $42 million is currently being fundraised for the next five phases.

Since its inception in 1980, TERI has been implementing its programs in a variety of locations based throughout North County San Diego, serving individuals throughout San Diego County.

Source: TERI, Inc.

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.