By Ian Crouch

The brand new Hunter Aspect School for Autistic Children at Thornton will soon be able to start taking students. The state government today pledged $400,000 towards the fit-out of the school.

The school has been providing services and support for children and families of Autistic Children in the Hunter for 30 years, but has been forced to use temporary accommodation at Gateshead West Public School since it outgrew facilities at Shortland Public in 2010.

A massive community effort along with federal and state funding has made the new school possible on land which it now owns thanks to a generous donation by Hunter businessman, Richard Owens. Well-known property developer, Hilton Grugeon, who’s son has Asperger’s syndrome, donated construction labour and material.

Hunter Developer Hilton Grugeon speaks with Ian Crouch

Maitland Mp, Robyn Parker, Disability Services Minister, Andrew Constance and Autism Spectrum Australia CEO, Adrian Ford

NSW Disabilities Services Minister Andrew Constance announces the funding