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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Growing season Learning Center for Health in Halstead breaks ground for new building

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  • The Kansas Learning Center for Health broke ground on the Bailey Learning Center Annex Tuesday. Work is expected to start soon and they hope to be done by October or some time in the fall.Dr. Colin Bailey, who the building is named after, said it was a huge milestone for the group. He has been board president for most of the fund-raising campaign."It is a great day," he said after the ceremony. "It is hard to ask for money," he added, telling the crowd the fund-raising will continue.Bailey and his wife, Joan, have been working with the Kansas Learning Center for Health since about 1990.Bailey said he plans to step down as president, partly because he is turning 80 next month, but he will stay on the board and continue to be involved in the programs.The expansion of the current facility will enable them to enhance services for Kansas students, director Brenda Sooter said. Sooter said demand has increased from elementary schools around the state as the state has not increased aid to schools, or has made cuts.The center sends 20,000 packets of information and learning materials to students each year, and has about 8,000 visitors.The expansion will include:• Ground Level Storage and Supply Room – The volunteers will use this room to assemble educational packets.• Installation of Elevator – This will make the entire Center ADA compliant.• Two-Van Garage – This will make it easier and safer for the instructors to load and unload equipment and supplies used in Outreach Programs. It also keeps materials from deteriorating from extreme heat or cold.?• Classroom and Board/Conference Room – Currently, the Museum exhibits have expanded into the space previously used for classes and meetings.?The project represents a unique capital campaign “Honoring our Past for a Healthy Future,” which started in April 2010 and will conclude April 2015. The Campaign has raised $2,760,164 with a total goal of $3,277,595.?The 2,600 square foot Bailey Learning Annex is estimated to cost nearly $500,000.?Dr. Colin and Joan Bailey, Honorary Campaign Chairs, and gift leaders of the “Honoring our Past for a Healthy Future” Campaign were introduced and thanked for their generous support at the ceremony.?General Contractor, Gerhard Fast from Preferred Builders, Incorporated, Hesston; Lester Limon and Jenifer Huelskamp, Architect and Project Manager, PKHLS Architecture, Newton; and Leon Schmidt, KLCH Board of Trustee Representative, were also part of the ceremony.?Money for this project has been generated from individual donors, businesses, $150,000 challenge grant from J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation (Tulsa, Okla.) and $285,000 from businesses and individuals who were awarded income tax benefits from the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Service Tax Credit 2013.Recognizing the need, the Kansas Learning Center for Health Board of Trustees agreed that the Health Education Outreach Program has outgrown the space allocated for it in the Center’s basement, Sooter said.The Bailey Learning Annex will address this space issue. As important as Bailey Learning Annex is, the real need being addressed is the health education of Kansas’ students.?With minimal increases in the Base State Aid Per Pupil (BSAPP), Kansas’ schools are continuing to seek cost effective ways to offer innovative, stimulating health education to their students. With the ever-increasing number of schools (115 yearly) being served through the Outreach Program, additional space for storing materials and assembling educational packets is essential, Sooter said. 

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