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The Kennedy Krieger Institute plans to start construction in December on a $46 million expansion of its outpatient clinic in east Baltimore.

The institute hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new eight-story 130,000 square foot building at 801 N. Broadway on Wednesday. Construction is expected to last about two years, with the new facility opening to patients in January 2019, said Kennedy Krieger spokeswoman Stacey Bollinger.

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The building is designed to serve children with autism and other disorders and will house a training and education center. It was financed with donations from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, the Willard Hackerman family, and the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Bollinger said.

A new 115,000-square-foot outpatient clinic opened in 2009, but demand for services has increased dramatically, Kennedy Krieger CEO Dr. Gary Goldstein said in 2014 when plans for the latest building were first announced.

"We outgrew the space we were in and with more patients coming from all over the world this will allow us to unlock the potential of more children," Lainy Lebow-Sachs, the institute's executive vice president of external relations, said in a statement Wednesday.

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