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Getting a Head Start

Groundbreaking for new Head Start building is Tuesday

MARSHALL — They’ve been making a difference for local children and families for more than 50 years. And now the Head Start Program will be taking the first physical step toward having its own home in Marshall.

United Community Action Partnership will break ground for a new Head Start facility at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The new building, which will be located next to the UCAP main office on South Saratoga Street, will house Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms, as well as an Early Head Start socialization space.

“We are so excited to be one giant step closer to having this become a reality for our Head Start families,” said UCAP Executive Director Nancy Straw.

While the Head Start program has been active in Marshall for many years, the program has never had its own building. For more than 10 years, Head Start has leased classroom space from Grace Life Church in Marshall.

In April, UCAP received an award announcement from the Office of Head Start for the majority of the building project’s construction costs, which left UCAP to find financing to complete the project. UCAP announced this week that all of the needed financing has been secured, and construction can begin.

Funding for the Head Start building is coming from several sources, including two grants from the federal Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start, and a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. UCAP also received grants from the Otto Bremer Trust and Mardag Foundation for the project. The total grant support for the building was $3.6 million, UCAP said.

The project has also secured financing through Old National Bank, Propel Nonprofits, the Southwest Initiative Foundation and First Children’s Finance.

“No local tax dollars will be used in this project, but Lyon County showed their support by issuing bonds for the project and they were supported in that effort by the city of Marshall, Straw said. “In this case it took a village to raise a building, and we’re so grateful for all of our partners.”

Construction of the new Head Start building is planned to be finished early next summer.

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