TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler officials gathered downtown Tuesday morning to celebrate the final campaign gift to the Douglas R. Mehling II Center at Breckenridge Village.

The center will house life-skills classes, including electives like music and photography, service projects and more. It will all be specially designed to give adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities fulfilling and engaging experiences.

“This is going to help us finish the construction of our new activities center and eight brand new classrooms for our day program,” said Chelsea Owens, Executive Director at Breckenridge Village. “We are going to be able to welcome 30 more adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into our gold standard program at BVT.”

Breckenridge Village is a local organization that offers a state-licensed day program for adults with disabilities.

“Our day program brings joy, purpose and excitement to the lives of those who participate, but for too long we’ve had to limit participation because of space restrictions,” Owens said. “The Mehling Center doesn’t just give us a bigger footprint to work with, it gives us more opportunity to create meaningful experiences for the extraordinary men and women in our community.”

The $4.5 million gift was given by FirstDay Foundation, which provides philanthropic grants and management and governance services to nonprofit organizations in Texas and around the world.

“We treasure the work of Breckenridge Village and the people they serve, and are proud to be part of meeting the need for educational and recreational activities for adults with disabilities throughout East Texas,” said FirstDay Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin C. Dinnin.

The Tuesday morning celebration was attended by County Judge Neal Franklin and Mayor Don Warren.