The site of a former Boardman hotel will soon be the home of 75 to 100 brand new jobs in the Mahoning Valley.

Dr. Julie Knapp of the Knapp Center for Childhood Development purchased the site of the recently closed Red Roof Inn on Tiffany Street off of South Avenue. Dr. Knapp's plan is to turn the space into a state-of-the art autism center to be operated by her business. The company wants to increase the number of services to children with autism, such as offering speech therapy and occupational therapy. 

"With 1 in 44 children being identified with autism, our waitlist has grown significantly," said Dr. Knapp. "Children with developmental delays need treatment immediately and cannot afford to wait for services. Thus, acquiring this new building will allow the Knapp Center to do its part in helping the autism community receive much needed services in a timely fashion."

The Knapp Center is accredited as a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and provides evidenced-based care to children with autism ages 1-21 years of age.

"When I sat back and thought about what real estate would really meet our needs the most, it was a hotel," Knapp said. "I wanted something where we're able to have multiple classrooms, multiple gyms and multiple play interactive spaces for our children so they could have different areas to go to engage in their therapy and their learning."

The hotel allows room for children with autism access to more bathrooms, something Knapp's previous space was lacking.

"Now, was have 117 glorious bathrooms to toilet train all of our babies."

A building that was once Red Roof Inn means there's plenty of room for more jobs. Knapp told 21 News they plan to hire up to 100 new employees.

"Probably about 55-60 of new jobs will be behavioral therapist jobs," Knapp said. "Maybe another 5 to 7 individuals to be the supervisors. We need employees for the billing department, human resources, office management, maintenance and cleaning crews."

Knapp added this new chapter of their growing business will service hundreds of more children and young adults with autism.

Knapp's sister company, Absolute Behavior Health, will also operate out of the building. 

"That's going to be the company that will offer diagnostics, speech therapy, occupational therapy and counseling services," Knapp said. "So, we will be able to expand the types of services we offer as well."

"This is just something that we've been dreaming about this at the center for a long time," Knapp said. "Something we've been wanting to give back to the families."

Knapp also purchased a vacant parking lot across from the building to allow for sufficient parking.

The new center will undergo about $1 million dollars in renovations before their scheduled opening in Fall 2022.