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Parker Fine Arts Building to be renovated, thanks to Defense Communities Grant

Parker Fine Arts Building to be renovated,

thanks to Defense Communities Grant

 

Thanks to a federal grant, the Parker Fine Arts Center will be renovated to expand access to early childhood education and to create a community multipurpose facility for presentations, meetings, and small performing arts performances, especially to benefit military-connected families in the community.

 

The Waynesville R-VI School District has received notification that the district has been awarded a Defense Communities Infrastructure Program (DCIP) grant in the amount of $677,238 toward the $1,354,475 project. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has awarded the DCIP grant to the Waynesville R-VI School District, which serves nearby Fort Leonard Wood families.

 

The Federal grant is for $677,238, which is half of the project total of $1,354,475.

The Parker Fine Arts Center is located on the Waynesville Middle School campus.

 

The district has discussed potential usage of the Parker Fine Arts Center after the completion of the middle school. Parker remains in good condition with need of upgrades and this will help us expand access to critically needed early childhood learning opportunities for our students. The DCIP grant provided an opportunity to address this need with Fund 4 reserves.

 

 

Funds from Federal B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid are paying for construction of Phase 2 at the middle school; no local tax dollars will be used for construction of Phase 2 or the renovation of the Parker Fine Arts Center. Voters approved a tax levy increase of 20 cents in April 2017 that kept the district eligible for B-2 funding.

 

The DCIP program is a nation-wide program aimed at funding off-installation infrastructure developments that support readiness on installations and military family quality of life. As a result of this grant, there will be a new Early Childhood Program Center that will serve students of our community, which includes our military impacted children.

 

In addition to two new early childhood classrooms, the building will house a multipurpose room that will be available for the community to use for presentations, meetings, plays, a small kitchen and an area for Waynesville R-VI Board of Education meetings. 

 

“Members of our community often need a facility that is larger than our Lecture Hall at the Ninth Grade Center, but smaller than a gym and so when this facility is finished, our community groups and organizations will have an option to utilize an ‘in between’ size as well as additional space for smaller meetings,” Henry said.

 

During the district’s most recent communitywide survey, 87% of survey respondents said they favored or strongly favored the district offering a pre-kindergarten program off post. The survey was conducted in late fall/early winter of 2019. 

 

Waynesville’s application was one of only 16 applications chosen out of 130 submitted nationally, that requested over $700 million funding for a program that was only provided $50 million by Congress this year.

 

“We are so thankful and grateful for all of the support we have received from our federal elected officials (including Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Josh Hawley and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler), OEA, Fort Leonard Wood officials, Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP), our Missouri Military Advocate (Joe Driskill), the state and our school board,” Henry said. “They all worked together in record time to make this project a reality for the children of our community.”