Guide Dogs of America to Break Ground on Phil and Macki Singer Visitor Education Center

A computer-generated rendering of Guide Dogs of America’s new Phil and Macki Singer Visitor and Education Center. GDA is expected to break ground on the 15,900-square-foot facility in mid-April.

Guide Dogs of America (GDA) will break ground April 13, 2014 on a new 15,900-square-foot education and outreach center that will allow the school to expand its community outreach and build upon its services for blind and visually impaired men and women in Los Angeles and across the U.S. and Canada.

The expansion of GDA’s 7.5-acre campus is being facilitated by a generous donation from Phil and Macki Singer, supporters of GDA since 1994. In addition, Macki Singer has pledged to raise an additional amount dedicated to the new center.

The center was designed by award-winning architect Jennifer Luce, founder and principal of Luce et Studio Architects, Inc., and will be built by Interscape Construction, Inc.

Founded in 1948 by Joseph Jones, Sr., a retired member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), GDA has graduated more than 3,200 guide dog teams. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, GDA receives no funding from government agencies. All donations come from IAM members, IAM local and district events, caring individuals, businesses, foundations, clubs, and organizations as well as through wills and bequests.

Guide Dogs of America’s services are provided at no charge to guide dog recipients; however, the cost to produce a qualified guide dog companion, train the guide dog and recipient as a team, and provide the follow-up services that ensure safety and effectiveness throughout the team’s working life, is $42,000. Last year, 54 guide dog teams graduated from the school.

Guide Dogs of America breeds its own specially selected Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. At seven weeks of age the puppies are placed with pre-screened volunteer puppy raisers. More than 200 families in Los Angeles County volunteer to provide Guide Dogs of America puppies with a nurturing and enriched environment.

To learn more about Guided Dogs of America, call (818) 362-5834 or visit