July 23, 2014 - 07:10
Learning Center may get permanent Arts Center
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School Board members voted to allow the building Monday night, pending the final go-ahead from Glenn Springs.
The Copper Basin Learning Center may have a new home if all goes according to plan. Glenn Springs Holdings, who has been a corporate sponsor of the program, has offered to possibly build a permanent building on school property. School Board members voted to allow the building Monday night, pending the final go-ahead from Glenn Springs.
Program Director Angie Cook told school board members she started 10 years ago with a rolling cart and now has an office in the Home Ec room of Copper Basin High School, but finding space to work on projects remains an issue. She said if a new Home Ec teacher is hired, they will lose what space they have. As it stands, art and other project supplies are moved around from room to room as space is available.
Currently one third of Copper Basin students participate in clubs or activities with the Learning Center. Cook said 14 of the last 17 CBHS valedictorians and salutatorians were involved.
Cook shared a short video presentation with the board highlighting achievements of the program and students who have participated in the program. Because there is no funding for arts education in Polk County, the Learning Center fills a void for arts, humanities, and technology that has been missing for generations. Critical thinking, patience, and diligence are among the skills learned by students participating in the program.
Among the offering through the years are a Japanese culture club, garden club, music club, drama club, and multimedia club. Cook said the Learning Center is used both during and after school. If the Spanish class wants to do an art project, for example, they can come to the Learning Center to do so.
“This could be a model not just in the state, but nationwide,” Cook said, adding, “not every school has money for these things.”
Several students’ accomplishments were highlighted during the presentation, including one of the first participants in the program, who had a speech impediment and now teaches on the college level.
Besides being utilized for students, the building would serve as a community performing arts center and could be rented out to local groups and organizations.
Cook said if everything comes together, Glenn Springs will pay for the building and continue to provide funding for the Learning Center for at least five years.
Once the facility is built, the school system would be responsible for maintenance, utilities and insurance in the same way they are for other school buildings.
All school board members voted to approve the building. April Trantham was absent.

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