Adult Ed

Adult Education Center moves to former hospital site
Posted on 12/16/2013

The Poplar Bluff R-I School District’s Adult Education & Literacy program has a new home, thanks to a pact recently forged with the hospital.

The Adult Education Center is now located at 2620 N. Westwood Blvd., in the former support services building of Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, which is only charging the school $1 per year for use of the vacated facility.

“It’s an excellent location—centrally situated in town, with a lot of parking, office-space and a huge classroom,” said Gina Duckett, Adult Education director. “We couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Adult Education has been housed at Three Rivers College’s main campus for the past three years, but the community college has been experiencing a greater demand on facilities of late, according to officials, including the planned expansion of its applied technology programs requiring additional square footage for each full-time equivalent student.

“We will continue to support the Adult Education initiative of PBR-I and make it a priority to demonstrate our student-first philosophy with each and every beneficiary of the services of the program,” stated Dr. Devin Stephenson, Three Rivers president.

When R-I Superintendent Chris Hon was informed over the summer that Three Rivers would need the building for flex space, he contacted Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce President Steve Halter for possible leads.

Other organizations that offered to help the school were the Boys and Girls Club and Butler County Juvenile Justice Center, however, administrators determined PBRMC’s stand-alone building was the best fit.

“We understand the importance of educational opportunities for our community and always seek out opportunities to help our local schools when we can,” PBRMC Market Chief Executive Officer Ken James said, noting that Three Rivers also uses a portion of the hospital’s South campus for its allied health services program under a similar agreement. “Poplar Bluff R-I schools serves a vital role, not only for our children, but for adult education in this case, and it’s our privilege to be able to help serve this need.”

During a month-long transitional period ending Nov. 25, Adult Education teacher Frankie Moe worked out an arrangement with her pastor, Bill Wiles of the Westside Church of God, to temporarily hold classes on Channon Drive. The Gilmore Tire Center lent the school a trailer for book storage, which was parked at the Technical Career Center, and the computers were kept in the R-I Administrative Building.

In addition to the new headquarters in Poplar Bluff, the school’s Adult Education and Literacy program has satellite sites in Dexter, Doniphan, Ellsinore, Greenville, Kennett, Malden, Piedmont and Winona.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, in the Kay Porter Theater, 27 Adult Education students are set to graduate with their General Educational Development diplomas. The GED exam will be replaced by the high school equivalency test come New Year’s. For more information, contact the center at 573-686-2011.

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Cutline: Adult Education students do schoolwork in their new classroom, now located in the former support services building of Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center behind Hefner Furniture & Appliance.

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