Eden Autism Services, which provides educational and employment services for children and adults with autism, has moved its headquarters from 1 Eden Way to 2 Merwick Road.

The move relocates its employees and 56 students to a 30,000-square-foot facility that greatly expands student amenities.

Aileen Kornblatt, Eden’s associate director of communications, said the new site (roughly twice the size of the former) features larger classrooms and several features Eden has never had at any of its former facilities — a gym, outdoor playgrounds, and fields for sports. The classrooms each feature a central learning area and breakout space for therapy sessions.

The biggest change, Kornblatt said, is the addition of training areas for Eden’s older clients. There is a mini-convenience store and a mock office, where students can train for jobs in the real world; an expanded kitchen (and a new cafeteria) to help train students who will work in the food industry, and a model house for students to learn what it takes to live on their own. There also is room to expand to 80 students.

Eden retrofitted the former Harmony School space (Harmony moved across the street earlier this year) for its administrative offices. The school and training facility, however, was custom built. Eden broke ground on the new facility – which cost $13.5 million – last September.

Talk of getting a major new center has been in the air since Eden’s founding in 1975, when it was operated from a church basement, Kornblatt said. Plans in earnest started about five years ago with a fundraising campaign.

“There’s just so much more space,” Kornblatt said. “Everybody is so happy. I love walking through the hallways and seeing all the smiling faces.”

#b#Eden Autism Services#/b#, 2 Merwick Road, Princeton 08540; 609-987-0099; fax, 609-987-0243. Thomas P. McCool, president and CEO. www.edenservices.org

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