SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield Public Schools celebrated the new Adah Fulbright Early Childhood Center opening today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Masking and social distancing was encouraged. Adah Fulbright, whom the center is named after, taught generations of children during segregation in Springfield.
Before this early childhood center opened, parent Margaret Boomgaarden struggled to find the right fit for her son named Jack.
“You try to use that gut and find the right teachers, the right place that you think that they’ll flourish, and it’s been a journey,” said Boomgaarden.
The new center, just west of Carver Middle School on Battlefield road, will serve around 250 students.
“It’s just nice to be able to see him throughout the day and to be able to check on him and to know that he’s in a facility and a place where there are educated educators and that he’s getting the best care as possible,” said Boomgaarden.
The center has several large classrooms, couches and playground equipment. This project is part of SPS’ Proposition S bond funding, which was approved by voters in 2019.
“It’s been thrilling to be apart from the very beginning of design all the way to construction,” said Travis Shaw, executive director of operations. “To see the excitement of our early childhood staff and our kids that are able to attend school here. Really it’s just been a dream come true.”
Signs are on every classroom door reminding kids to practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash their hands.
Classes began on Aug. 27, classes are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is reserved for deep cleaning each week.
Springfield Public Schools paid almost $13 million from its proposition S budget for this project.
“We’ve actually had seven projects on Proposition S and this is actually the first one to get to completion,” said Shaw. “This is the great kickoff to all of these projects being completed and great things that we are going to be able to provide for our kids in the school district.”
Shaw says the center gives kids a start that they need and deserve.
Here are some pictures of what the building looks like: