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KCKCC’s Downtown Community Education Center Project Closer to Becoming Reality with Financial Gift from the Sunderland Foundation

Posted on Monday, August 30, 2021

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Downtown Community Education Center is one step closer to becoming a reality after the Sunderland Foundation awarded the college and its partners $10 million toward its construction.

KCKCC plans to build the 130,000 square-foot facility to serve as an anchor institution for Kansas City, Kan. (KCK), providing social and economic mobility for its residents and to be a national model for future educational institutions across the country. At the forefront of this project is the belief that a zip code should not determine a person’s level of success, health or social wellbeing. The center will not only house educational programs such as English as a Second Language, GED, general education transfer, biosciences and technical education programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand careers, but will also offer multiple youth activities, healthy living programs, mental and behavioral health counseling, direct health care services and other support services such as youth enrichment and leadership programs, among others.

The $10 million financial commitment was announced by KCKCC President Dr. Greg Mosier at the July KCK Chamber of Commerce's Congressional Forum. With this gift, and other fundraising commitments as part of the college’s Centennial Campaign, the college anticipates raising $35 million by December, which is halfway to its goal of fully funding the project. Other partners in the project include the YMCA of Greater Kansas City; Wyandot Behavioral Health Network; Swope Health, CommunityAmerica Credit Union and Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

“Kansas City Kansas Community College is committed to making this an anchor facility that will provide the education and services so desperately needed to break the cycle of generational poverty in downtown Kansas City, Kan.,” Mosier said. “We plan to create a self-sustaining economic solution for the community that will help end the social and economic inequities that have pre­vailed in this area for decades. Thank you to the Sunderland Foundation for recognizing the need in the community and helping us create this holistic center that will help serve the diverse needs of our community.”

The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years. Each year, the foundation awards grants to charitable organizations for planning, design, construction, renovation, repairs and restoration of facilities. In 2020, the foundation awarded $40 million to more than 40 educational organizations. Grantees included community colleges, private colleges, and public universities.

“The transformational nature of this project for the residents and community in downtown Kansas City, Kan. aligns well with the Sunderland Foundation’s mission,” said Sunderland Foundation President & COO Randy Vance. “We are pleased to be involved as a philanthropic investor in a project that fosters a stronger, safer and more vibrant future for eastern Wyandotte County.”

Category: General

Keywords: Downtown

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