Sturgis, SD, Aug 08, 2012 -- Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP), Inc. hosted a ground- breaking ceremony today for its new state-of-the-art Head Start early childhood development facility. Staffs from USDA Rural Development, the State of South Dakota, community leaders and members also participated in the event.
“We are thrilled to begin construction on our new Head Start facility,” said ICAP’s Executive Director Cindy Dannenbring. “Head Start is the nation’s premier early childhood development program. Children who participate in Head Start leave the program ready to start school. This project is the result of many months of hard work among ICAP, USDA-Rural Development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the City of Madison, the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, Citi Bank, and First Bank and Trust. It would not have been possible if all those partners hadn’t come together.”
ICAP is a multiple-program community action agency serving a 14-county area in eastern South Dakota. ICAP’s existing Head Start facility has one classroom, one kitchen, bathrooms, and play area; however, it lacks adequate space to house the teachers, assistants, program supplies and equipment. In addition, the heating and cooling systems are barely adequate. The new Head Start facility will be 6,710 square feet with 3,000 square feet for playground and landscaping areas. The building will house two Head Start classrooms to maximize efficiency of the program, a common area, Family Advocate office, conference room, and teachers’ offices. Support space includes a kitchen, laundry room, storage room, restrooms, and custodian room.
“ICAP does a tremendous job administering a wide variety of programs and Rural Development is pleased to be one of the partners working with them to build a new Head Start center in Madison,” said South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks. “President Obama is committed to strengthening the economy, creating jobs, supporting business growth, and expanding opportunities for rural South Dakotans. This facility will improve services and bring new opportunities to Madison and the surrounding service areas.”
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across South Dakota. Since 2009, the agency has invested over $1.1 billion in essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, electric, telecom, and housing opportunities to help South Dakota families and communities build a better future.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.