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Barry-Lawrence County Development Center to break ground on new facility

Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 10:43 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) -The Barry Lawrence County Development Center will be breaking ground on a brand new facility on Monday, Oct. 4.

The development center has been serving the community since the 1970s, helping families of preschoolers with special needs obtain therapies and prepare for kindergarten.

This new building has been a work in progress for the last five years and is desperately needed. Right now, the center is in an 85-year-old building that is about 1,500-square feet. The new facility will be 6,000-square feet and have a designated space for therapy, a new playground and lots of space for the kids to play in.

“One of my favorite things about the new building is we’re going to have a storm shelter inside the building,” said Barry-Lawrence County Development Center Director Lynda Painter. “We’re going to make that into a sensory room also so the kids will be used to going in and out of that room, and we won’t have to take them into the storm shelter outside our building that we have now. That’s downstairs and in the ground, and it’s really scary for some of our kids.”

About 30 kids between 2-5 years old from all over Barry and Lawrence counties come here to learn and grow so they will be ready for kindergarten. Right now the developmental center is operating out of an 85-year-old home that is just too small to really serve these kids.

“We are bursting at the seams,” said Painter. “It is very difficult for the kids to have the therapies when there are people walking through some of the rooms to go to the kitchen to fix snacks, go to the bathroom, so the kids get distracted from what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The new building is estimated to cost $865,000. The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

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