Innovative building creates downtown hub

By Keith boles - bio | email

RECTOR (KAIT)  To the city of Rector, innovation means getting many uses out of one facility.

The town will soon open a new training center that hopefully will become a hub for the downtown area.

The building's official title will be the "Northeast Arkansas Innovative Training Center" and if everything happens there that the director and the community's going to be a very busy place.

Director Jacinda Welch took time out from hanging ceiling tile to explain the recreational and educational offerings at the center.

"We're gonna have a wellness center here, have aerobic classes, martial arts and piano lessons from Kenneth Renshaw and hopefully we'll have some guitar lessons and things like that. Black River Technical College will be moving in first. "

Welch went on to say that, "We can offer the GED classes that adult education offers. And also were partnering with GCITC which is over in Paragould to offer business and industry classes."

The center will also partner with the courts to offer the life skills program for individuals on work real ease programs that need help in re-entering the work force.

The building itself belongs to the city of Rector and will be a key player in the downtown development program.

Cyndi Corkran the cities Community Development Director put town her paint brush to elaborate. "I believe pull in more retail opportunities. People will be out on the streets, in and out of the classrooms and I think it's going to be great potential for economic development."

It is hoped that the center will act as a hub for the downtown, attracting businesses to use the vacant buildings in the downtown area.

First thing though the building has to be finished. Most of the work has been done by volunteers including Welch's parents. Much of the building material was also donated.

Jacinda says they can use all the help they can get both physically and financially.

"The city of Rector is not that big and we don't have that big of a budget so any donations would be helpful. "

Ultimately, helping Rector to grow in innovative ways is what the center is all about.

Welch says, "The ultimate goal is to attract businesses and industries to come to rector. Fill these downtown vacancies that we have."

Welch didn't give me a firm date on when the center will be opening officially.

But, it should be fairly soon.