Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center awarded $400K ARPA grant

The Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center received a $400K ARPA grant.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 11:22 AM CST
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - The Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center was awarded more than half-a-million dollars for facility improvements.

The money comes from a 75 percent state, 25 percent local matching grant awarded recently by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

According to a release from the Poplar Bluff R-I School District, the money will be used for security entrances with a video buzz-in system for doors and gates, as well as roof replacements for the two largest buildings on campus, if funds allow.

“All the money that has come in through our facility of recent has gone toward big-ticket items to prepare for lean times in a [hypothetical] scenario where the roof was bad four years from now, and the district didn’t have money to repair it,” explained Charles Kinsey, TCC director. “The slate of projects was developed by upper administration, prioritized locally based on work orders, then presented to the board so the buildings can outlast me by a long shot, and serve the Technical Career Center kids for another 30 years.”

According to the school district, the Board of Education approved the grant proposal during its October meeting with a $133,000 commitment from the district.

Kinsey anticipates requesting bids in the near-term and hopefully finalizing costs associated with the projects by the end of the school year so work can take place over the summer, if possible, depending on contractors.

The district has two years to obligate the funds and another two years to utilize the grant prior to reimbursement.

The TCC received its award notice on Monday, Nov. 28, along with 50 other CTE institutions, the majority of which secured the maximum amount of $400,000 through ARPA.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson included the expenditure in his fiscal year 2023 budget proposed to the General Assembly, his office announced.

The MACCO money has been designated to enhance the state’s CTE capacity by providing more opportunities for students while updating and modernizing career centers’ infrastructure and equipment, according to DESE, including: renovating or building an addition to an existing area career center, or improving infrastructure for safety and equipment needs.

The TCC listed an internet server upgrade and epoxy floors lower down on its priorities should a second round of funding become available.