Joplin Schools will host a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Joplin Early Childhood Center at 4 p.m. Thursday, December 15. The event will be held at the construction site, just north of Irving Elementary School, 2901 S. McClelland Blvd. Immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony, a reception will be held at Irving Elementary. The public is invited to attend.
Once constructed, the 40,000-square-foot facility will enable Joplin Schools to expand its early childhood program to serve more than 320 students ages three to five with half-day preschool and half-day daycare. On average, the current facility, which serves 230 students and is temporarily located at the former Duenweg Elementary School, has more than 100 students on its waiting list. The new center, funded by $10 million in state and local Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds, is set to open in 2019. The land for the project was donated by Mercy Joplin.