July 27, 2006

New NMCAA, Head Start Facility To Be Unveiled Thursday

The new $450,000 Northeast Missouri Community Action Agency (NMCAA) and Head Start facility in Memphis will officially be unveiled Thursday, July 27th with an open house.

The community is invited to review the new 4,800 square-foot facility that has brought together the local NMCAA offices and the head start education center under one roof. The new center is located at 238 North Johnson Street, just north of the Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission building.

Both entities relocated to the new facility late in May after construction was completed. Dean Construction Company of Kahoka started construction late in 2005 and completed the facility this spring.

ďThe completion of this facility symbolizes the commitment and dedication of our staff and our many community partners by providing a facility which better meets the needs of the community,Ē said NMCAA Board Chairman Dr. Leon Devlin. ďWe are honored to have the opportunity to provide this new facility to Scotland County residents.Ē

Monte Stock of Stock Designs, Quincy, IL is the architect. The project has been in development since May 2004 when the Scotland County Commission was awarded a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant for the project on behalf of NMCAA.

The new center is the collaborative effort of the Missouri Community Development Block Grant Program, the Scotland County Commission, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission, and Northeast Missouri Community Action Agency.

ďVarious agencies were involved with the project from the beginning,Ē stated Penny Miles, NMCAA Executive Director.

In addition to the CDBG grant, other financing was provided by a USDA Rural Development loan to NMCAA. The Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission assisted in CDBG preparation and land acquisition, and administered the CDBG grant for the Scotland County Commission.

ďThis kind of assistance mirrors USDA Rural Developmentís mission and President Bushís initiatives of being committed to the future of rural communities,Ē stated USDA State Director Greg Branum. He praised the efforts of Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent and Congressman Kenny Hulshof for making available the federal funds for this type of rural project.

The new facility includes convenient off-street parking, a Head Start childrenís educational center and playground, a small conference room, storage, and staff offices to insure greater privacy for customers.

The Memphis Head Start Center Director Stephanie Shalley stated the new site offers plenty of additional space for the centerís five-person staff. The Head Start Center will enroll its first class of 20 students, ages three to five, beginning in August with school starting in September.

Shalley also praised the combined facility, which brings together two offices that will be able to work well together.

ďTraditionally Head Start and NMCAA arenít found together, but it makes a lot of sense since we both serve a lot of the same families,Ē Shalley stated. ďI think it will allow us to work together to further improve the lives of the people we are trying to reach.Ē

Beverly Talbert of the Memphis NMCAA office stated the new facility is already providing benefits. The open house will help facilitate the sign up process for the organizationís annual back-to-school fair set for Friday.

The NMCAA back-to-school fair will be held July 28th at the SCR-I elementary school gym from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Families interested in viewing the various educational, health and safety-related booths at the fair can pre-register at the new NMCAA office in the spacious new meeting room.

Talbert stated the added space will allow her office to offer additional services. She stated a meeting office with an internet-ready computer will allow representatives from area schools to help people enroll in classes and will allow further work force development projects as well.

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