REEDS SPRING, Mo. -- The city of Reeds Spring releases new renderings for its plan to turn the old school building (WPA building) into a community center.
The designs are part of the city's effort to receive a grant, to fund the project through the Skaggs Foundation.
"That's part of the life is the rock," says former student Laura Lewallen, referring to the exterior of the old school building and how it’s incorporated into the new design.
"My grandchildren and I were just kind of driving around and I said, ‘your nan, and your grandma and your grandpa and on down the line, went to school here,'" says Lewallen. "I've got a lot of school memories here, a lot of school memories."
The setting for those memories is worn down now. Decades worth of service as a Works Progress Association building, a school, city storage, and later being closed has taken a toll.
"If we're successful in obtaining the funding we're hoping that we get, it's going to be a Godsend for us," says Reeds Spring Alderman and former student, Rob Chamberlin.
"Everything in the front, as you see it will stay the same," says Chamberlin referring to the new design plans. "But in the back, we'll have a kitchen facility, we'll have a Head Start."
Plans for the roughly $1.7 million project would also incorporate a commons area, and would have offices for various health organizations.
"Maybe a dentist that comes in two or three days a week," says the Aldermen.
The old gym floor will have to be replaced, but the pine paneling on the walls will be refurbished and reused in the new gym.
"There's beautiful hardwood floors underneath that carpet," Chamberlin says, referring to the floor in the school house. "That's coming up too."
If the City receives the necessary funds, the project is expected to take roughly 18-24 months to complete - preserving decades worth of memories in the process.
"So when people come in here, the will be like, I'm home." Says Chamberlin.
"That really excites me, because this was part of Reed (Springs)," says Laura Lewallen.
City leaders say if they don't receive the necessary funding for the project they have set up a donation account with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The city will also continue to collect funds though area events like Cajun Days.
The City should get an answer regarding the Skaggs Foundation grant in November, 2014.
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