There was a genuine buzz of excitement in Parsonage Road, Castle Hill on Thursday as people surveyed the site of a new group home for people with disabilities.
Among them was wheelchair-bound Kevin Kendall who wooped "holy moley!" as reality hit.
This would be his new home. Mr Kendall is one of six people who will be moving from a 12-bedroom residential centre in Dural into this house, which is expected to be finished early in 2015.
"I can't wait," he said.
Warrah provides services for people who have an intellectual disability with moderate to high support needs.
Mr Kendall has lived at Warrah since he was 11. He has cerebral palsy.
Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka and Hornsby MP Matt Kean turned the first sod on his future home last Thursday.
Mr Ajaka said the $2.4 million NSW government-funded residence would consist of a four-bedroom and a two-bedroom villa for adults.
Mr Kean said the property was being designed in consultation with clients and their families to create a sense of personalisation and homeliness.
It is part of the redevelopment of large residential centres through NSW Family and Community Services, the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC).
Linda Hume, from the DADHC said the government had made a commitment to shut down large and small residential centres statewide.
‘‘The idea instead is that people live in homes in the community in a setting that’s appropriate to their needs,’’ Ms Hume said.
She said the group moving to Castle Hill were all keen to have a more independent lifestyle.
‘‘There was no changing his mind — he’s moving,’’ Mr Kendall’s sister, Bev Osborne, commented at the building commencement ceremony.
Warrah Farm and Special School at Dural will stage its first community open day on Saturday, September 13.
There will be farm tours where visitors can search for freshly-laid free-range eggs at 10.30am and 2pm. Participate in a special spring planting of potatoes at 2.30pm.
Find out about Warrah’s approach to education for children with disabilities at a talk and tour of the school at 11.30am.
Music from 1pm with a bush dance at 1.30pm plus boutique stalls, food and biodynamic produce.
■ Details: Warrah Special School, 20 Harris Road, Dural. Saturday, September 13, 10am-3pm. Call Christine on 9651 2411 or visit http://www.warrah.org.