Pleasant Acre has new space galore

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the entire Natchez community for making our renovation and expansion project at Pleasant Acre Day School such a great success. On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to mark the completion of this project valued at almost $40,000.

Pleasant Acre Day School, founded in 1959, is the only school in the Miss-Lou that provides life skills and life enrichment for mentally and physically challenged adults who require a permanently sheltered environment aside from that offered by an institution or their families. This renovation and expansion project marks the first time any substantial work has been done to the facility since our opening nearly 50 years ago.

This project was made possible through the Leadership Natchez Class of 2007 adopting Pleasant Acre Day School as its class project. This class, chaired by Jaki Robinson of B&K Bank, raised nearly $22,000 on behalf of Pleasant Acre. After the class graduated in May, Jaki and her classmates continued to support Pleasant Acre Day School by raising additional funds and by seeking bids from local contractors to complete the project. Many wonderful proposals were submitted, but Vickie Barron of Little River Design develop the best plans for the use the $22,000 which included expanding the building to house our Beads Galore room.

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While the expansion project was being completed, the Leadership Natchez Class of 2007 continued to work with Pleasant Acre Day School to renovate the existing building. Over a period of six weeks, we were blessed to receive additional donations of material and labor valued at nearly $20,000 for this purpose. The renovation included placing new flooring, repairing walls and ceilings, landscaping, installing a new kitchen and painting the building inside and out. I would like to thank the Wanda Frye and John Lee families of Natchez Community Hospital for coordinating and completing these projects. The Frye and Lee families donated most of their weekends and evenings over the past six weeks to make this possible. This project would not have been completed if it was not for these two families and the generous support of provided by Natchez Community Hospital. I would also like to thank the Saint Mary Basilica for assisting us with the cleanup in getting ready for the ribbon cutting as part of their Priesthood Day Make a Difference program.

If you missed seeing our new building at the ribbon cutting, feel free to stop by Pleasant Acre to see what can be accomplished through a community coming together. At Pleasant Acre, we still have one very important project that we need to accomplish. Our bathrooms are not handicap accessible, and several of our students are wheelchair bound or have limited mobility. This renovation project is estimated at $10,000. If you would like to contribute to this, please call me at 601-442-2264.

Again, on behalf of the students of Pleasant Acre Day School, I would like to thanks the Leadership Natchez Class of 2007, the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce and the hundreds of families and businesses of Natchez that so generously supported this project!

Mary Ann FOGGO-EIDT is the director of Pleasant Acre Day School.