On Monday, the Legacy Foundation awarded Ottumwa School District $642,000 over a four-year period to support the new Learning Center. Construction will begin this spring with completion scheduled for August. Classes in the new Center will begin on the district’s first day of school, August 23.
Strategic funds from the Legacy Foundation will support the district’s efforts to create a new 9-12 Learning Center on Gateway Drive in Ottumwa. This project is part of district efforts to Be The Best school in the state of Iowa.
“The Legacy Foundation demonstrates once again that they are willing to partner with us and invest in our students and our community to be the best,” said Superintendent Mike McGrory. “We’re grateful for Legacy’s commitment to excellence for all students.”
Construction of a new Learning Center is part of the district’s Vision of Excellence, the second phase of the Be The Best initiative. This Center is designed to be a more personalized, safe, and supportive learning environment for 200-250 students. Using innovative and researched-based best practices in teaching and learning will help to address student needs. While district funds will be used for construction, furnishings, equipment, and traditional staffing, Legacy funds will supplement and expand services for students in the areas of mental health, graduation attainment, and work-based learning. Grant funds will also support the school’s transition to competency-based instruction and professional development in the areas of project based learning, critical concepts curricular, and trauma informed instruction.
“The investment from the district and Legacy Foundation sends a really strong message to our students,” said Aiddy Phomvisay, Executive Director and Principal of the Learning Center. “We see you, we hear you, and we value you! We know you can achieve at high levels.”
Increasing education opportunities is one of the Legacy Foundation’s strategic priorities. The foundation seeks to support programs that increase the number of individuals with degrees, diplomas, certifications, and licensure; advance efforts to provide exposure to post-secondary pathways and career opportunities in Wapello County; and partner with education entities in their pursuits to provide excellent and innovative learning opportunities to all students.
“At the Foundation, we believe every student deserves the very best education opportunities available, opportunities that help them prepare and plan for their future. That is what the new Learning Center will do for our students who thrive in a more specialized learning environment,” said Kelly Genners, Legacy Foundation President & CEO. “Not only will the new Center assist students in reaching their graduation goals, it will help them to develop college and career pathways that will lead them to the futures that they deserve. We are thrilled to be a partner in the Ottumwa School District's investment in these students.”
Students at the ACA join in the celebration of the grant announcement.