The Carthage Press
  • More donations roll in for early childhood center

  • The third section of the district's new early childhood center has been named after the Carthage R-9 School District received another $100,000 donation to completion of the building.
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  • The third section of the district's new early childhood center has been named after the Carthage R-9 School District received another $100,000 donation to completion of the building.
    At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Southwest Missouri Bank was awarded naming rights to the Parents As Teachers portion of the District’s new early childhood center.
    SMB donated $100,000 to the Carthage R-9 School Foundation for the right to name the PAT area the “SMB Learning Center for Parents As Teachers."
    “We are grateful for this generous gift, but even more thankful for the support provided for students and families throughout southwest Missouri by Mr. Garry Denney, Ms. Jeannette Clem and the entire SMB staff,” said Dr. Blaine Henningsen, Carthage Superintendent.
    Henningsen said SMB has been a longstanding partner with the Carthage School District. The bank was a major donor to the Carthage Tiger Fieldhouse project and earned the Friend of Education Award from the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence in 2005.
    Two other sections of the new building, under construction now on Fairview Avenue between Grand Avenue and River Street, have already been named.
    Carthage radio pioneer Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison gave $100,000 and received the right to name one section the Ruth I. Kolpin Early Childhood Center.
    Former Leggett & Platt CEO and Board member Felix Wright also gave $100,000 and named another section the W.B. Wright Early Childhood Special Services Center after his grandson, a Carthage R-9 student who has used the district's special education services.
    The 14,300-square-foot building will house the Early Childhood Education program, Parents as Teachers and Title I preschool. At its regular February meeting, the Board awarded R.E. Smith Construction a $3,090,000 contract to build the building. Construction is scheduled for completion by February 2015.
    The Steadley Foundation donated $350,000 to the district in February to get the fundraising effort off the ground.
    The district plans to finance construction of the building with about $2 million in federal grants for early childhood special education and the Title 1 programs, and about $1 million in local donations to pay for the Parents as Teachers section.
    The Board on Tuesday announced several other donations to the project.
    McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation donated $25,000 and was awarded naming rights for the Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Room.
    People donating $10,000 each included:
    • Chuck and Nancy Hutchins for the Sensory Room.
    • Lynda Homa and Steve Leibbrand for a classroom.
    • Ron and Susan Ross for a classroom.
    Four benches have been purchased in honor of members of the Danny Lambeth family.
    Another bench will be placed by Debbie Evans and dedicated to Michael Evans, “Donut Man." Brick pavers have been purchased by Neel and Janice Baucom, Justin and Kelsey Baucom, John
    Page 2 of 2 - and Kamie Bourgault, Nicki Cloud, Scott and Jane Goade, Danny Hensley, Mary Jones, LeaAnn Keeling, Jeff Long, Rusty and Kim Snyder, Joe and Connie Swearengen, Richard and Dixie Vacca, Mike and Camie Watson, Mark and Nan Westhoff (2), and the Knights of Columbus (2).
    “I continue to be amazed at the generosity of the people of Carthage and the overwhelming support for the school district,” Henningsen said. “There is a sense of pride in our community and many exciting things are happening. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our students.”
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