Children’s TherAplay expansion targets December completion


By Calina He

It’s taken a bit longer than expected, but Children’s TherAplay expects to have its expansion project completed in December.

The facility will nearly triple in size, growing from 4,000 to 11,000 square feet at 9919 Towne Rd. in west Carmel.

“Our project began in mid-April. COVID-19 actually worked to our advantage in that it allowed us to move forward because there was a lot of disruptive construction that was going to be challenging for us to do in our facility,” Executive Director Kathy Pelletier said. “We were all working remotely, which really gave (construction crews) the opportunity to work on-site without any interruptions.”

Children’s TherAplay originally planned to finish the expansion in November 2019. The project was delayed primarily because of permitting issues.

“We had some significant permit delays that were unexpected with the City of Carmel,” Pelletier said. “They delayed our process for about six months. We made the decision to wait until the spring of 2020 to get a clean start.”

Children’s TherAplay offers hippotherapy, or horseback riding, as a medical treatment for children with special needs and their families throughout central Indiana.

“Hippotherapy is physical and occupational therapy which uses the three-dimensional features of horses to help children develop core muscles, hip strength and core strength,” Pelletier said. “Children are getting valuable movement and input from a horse that allows them to reach a lot of social and emotional goals.”

Children’s TherAplay is still seeking funding for the expansion and other expenses.

“With 75 percent of the funds raised on our $4.4 million Giddy Up and Grow Capital Campaign, we are asking for the community to help us close the funding gap,” Pelletier said. “We have naming rights still available, or you can make a legacy gift in honor or memory of someone (human or equine) special.”

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