UniTec Career Center is on a tight deadline to raise the rest of $118,000 they need to find — and spend by May 15, according to the dictates of a federal grant they won last winter and have been feverishly raising money for ever since.
UniTec was one of only 10 schools approved from the 57 schools that applied for the federal grant, and raising the matching funds is key to the vocational technical school building the 80 by 100 square foot Construction Technology building on the grounds next door, where the old Country Way Nursery business operated for decades.
“We’ve got a mailing effort going out, we have $70,000 pledged, and we’ve had some nice $1,000, $1,500 donations coming in, but we’re about $30,000 short,” said Jeff Cauley, UniTec director. “U.S. Tool and Cap America have pledged $25,000 each, Chauncy and Joyce Buchheit have pledged $20,000, and we’ve had a few smaller donations come in. But the clock’s ticking.”
The annex to the vo-tech school would be the first addition constructed since a metal building was added in 2003. Otherwise, the main building is very similar to how the trade school was when it was first built in 1971.
The fundraising campaign necessitated the formation of the 501.C.3, nonprofit foundation for UniTec, which should make donations to it tax-deductible. Sponsorship levels are Platinum $20,000; Gold $10,000; Silver $5,000; Bronze $1,000; and Friends $500, according to a flyer being shared. A GoFundMe account has also been set up.
UniTec is a consortium of eight sending schools, although the North County R-1 School District owns the property and offers other administrative services to the center. The other sending schools include Central R-3, Bismarck R-5, Farmington R-7, Fredericktown R-1, Kingston K-14, North County R-1, Potosi R-3, West County R-4.
The plan is for UniTec students to build Phase 2 of the annex, since the career and technical education school offers classes in construction and electrical work and emphasizes hands-on learning. UniTec students have gotten experience working on similar projects for the City of Bonne Terre and Habitat for Humanity of St. Francois County. Heimburger Construction and Quality Foundations and Flatwork were chosen for the building construction and foundation work.
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.