McRae-Gaines Learning center moves to new spot

Published 6:52 am Saturday, December 18, 2021

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McRae-Gaines Learning Center (MGLC) moved to a new location last month.

MGLC  is now at the former Cedar Park Elementary School, at 1101 Woodrow Ave.

A $500,000, 16-month renovation project was completed to refurbish the building and grounds. The school was at  Marie Foster Street since 1981 after being incorporated in 1978.

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“We are thrilled with our new home,” MGLC Director Sadie Moss said. “This new space allows us to grow our program to better meet the needs of the community for children who are 12-months to eight years of age. With this move we can increase our current enrollment in support of Selma’s families.”

MGLC’s new home includes 18 classrooms, five offices, a library, an auditorium-cafeteria and two playgrounds.

The process began on June 25, 2020 when the Selma City Council transferred to MGLC right, title, and interest to Cedar Park Elementary School. The MGLC Board of Directors worked with Selma City School and the Selma City Council for a year leading up to the transfer to secure a safer and larger facility to better serve its children, including appropriate space for a special education program.

Moss also wanted to respond to requests from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education to expand the First Class 4-K Program at MGLC.

MGLC Board and staff raised  over $500,000 for the renovation project, which allowed for: an asbestos study and remediation and HVAC inspection and repair; roof repairs; replacement of all acoustical ceiling tiles, painting the entire interior and replacement of flooring in the classrooms and offices; kitchen improvements that include a new stove, ice box, commercial air conditioner, and vent hood and fire suppression system; classroom furnishing and partitions; deep cleaning and disinfection; and the addition of age-appropriate technology, among many other upgrades and repairs.

MGLC received funding from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the Michael & Gillian Goodrich Foundation, Hildreth Stewart Trust Foundation, the Ratliff Charitable Foundation, International Paper Company, PNC Foundation, Alabama Power Company and the Mia Hamm Foundation along with gifts from friends and past parents of the school. Hamm was born in Selma.

“We are blessed to have received the support to continue our mission,” said Moss. “We’ve put in a tremendous amount of work and have persevered through a pandemic. We are so thankful everyone hung in there with us through this very difficult period. Throughout the renovation we kept our eyes on one goal and that is to provide a top-notch, first-class education for our children who deserve only the best.”

MGLC is open to enroll students Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.