USD 253 patrons, administrators, local leaders and state representatives were all on hand to celebrate the culmination of USD 253’s latest investment in the future of education Wednesday afternoon.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new Jones Early Childhood Development Center culminating a year and a half’s worth of work that began back in early November of 2020. USD 253 Board of Education President Art Guittierez says the district used a combination of local input and outside inspiration to create the new facility.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly was on hand for Wednesday’s activities and says with the ever-evolving landscape of education, she believes the Jones Center is a perfect representation of how Kansas continues to evolve with it.
Kansas State Board of Education representative Ben Jones stated the greatest investment any community can make is in early childhood education.
Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson called the center a “legacy project” for future generations.
Following the speeches and official ribbon cutting, residents were welcomed to tour the facility, speak with district representatives and construction specialists and enjoy a free hot dog courtesy of USD 253.
The Jones Early Childhood Center was one of three projects included in phase one of the district’s multi-million dollar Building for the Future bond initiative along with Walnut Elementary and Emporia High School. In addition to bond funds, the district received a $ 6 million grant to assist with the center’s construction from the Jones Testamentary Trust.
More information on Building for the Future can be found on the school district’s website USD253.org.