Agency seeks help for Open Door School relocation

December 14, 2018

The Open Door School in Ironton is hoping to relocate, but to make that possible it is asking local funders for their support through tax-deductible donations.

Open Door School, Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities’ school-age program that provides special education to over 60 students on an annual basis, has long been located on Lorain Street in Ironton in the former Lombard Elementary School building. However, the building is over 90 years old and consists of three floors, creating challenges for students with physical disabilities who are served by the program.

For that reason, LCDD announced in June it intends to relocate Open Door to the former facility of Tri-State Industries in Coal Grove. The catch, however, is that the new facility was not set up as a school, requiring LCDD to renovate the facility into a school building.

Tim Nunnery, director of communications and resource development for LCDD, said the agency is basically starting with a shell of a building to construct classrooms and a gymnasium, as well as convert other rooms into a kitchen, cafeteria and rooms for additional services, such as speech and occupational therapy.

“We have a couple rooms that can easily be converted into a classroom or an office, but the original purpose of this facility was to be a workshop,” says Nunnery. “We’re working with what we have, and it’s a big undertaking on our budget, but it must be done because we’re currently pumping money into a building that seems to have a new problem every month or so that needs addressed.”

The LCDD board budgeted $700,000 for the renovation, which will have to come out of the budget for LCDD.

“We’ve had to move around numbers and make sacrifices. We’re hoping local donors from the county and surrounding area can help us out. We’re a tax-deductible organization with all of our paperwork in order. We’d love to see others help to keep those funds here in Lawrence County, serving a population that could really use it,” Nunnery said.

LCDD plans to run a monetary donor drive from December through spring 2019. Nunnery said that donations are tax deductible as the agency is a 170 (c)(1) designated by the Internal Revenue Service. LCDD plans to recognize donors for their generosity, possibly through plaques, newsletters as well as a grand opening at the new school.

“We’ve kicked around ideas, such as naming each classroom after a large donor, or give a hallway the namesake of one.”

For more information on how to donate to LCDD and the relocation of Open Door School, contact Tim Nunnery at 740-532-7401.

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