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Funds sought for Open Door relocation

School moving to Coal Grove location

Open Door School in Ironton is looking to relocate and is asking local funders for their support through tax deductible donations.

The school, Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities’ school-age program, provides special education to over 60 students on an annual basis and 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 that are served by the program.

Due to these challenges, LCDD announced last June their intentions 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 setup 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 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,” Nunnery said. “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 Board for LCDD is budgeting $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,” Nunnery said. “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.”

LCDD plans to run a monetary donor drive from December through Spring of 2019.

Nunnery says 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 a one,” he said

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