Johnco, Inc., Construction Supervisor Scott Saunders didn’t quite get the reaction he was expecting when he gave the Cunningham kitchen staff a tour of the space that will soon be the kitchen and cafeteria in the Education and Recreation Center (ERC).
“Some of them actually cried,” he said.
All those years of serving meals to Cunningham kids from an outdated and tired kitchen are coming to a close. But the tears weren’t about that; the tears were about having a facility where they can better help our kids grow and be healthy and live better lives.
It’s not just our kitchen staff that tears up when they see the ERC. When our teachers see the classrooms, specifically designed for our youth’s special needs, they know they will be even more successful in providing a quality education. The Special Therapies team looks at the gym, music and art rooms and can envision how this new environment will help our kids heal faster. Our therapists can see how the special spaces equipped to help our kids learn behavioral modification and life skills will prepare them to function in the real world.
Even our kids who will soon be taking classes in the school know that the ERC is so much more than just a building; it’s hope for their future. One summer morning, a few of them gathered at the construction fence with cookies and milk for the hard working laborers. They let the workers know how much they appreciated their work and shared how excited they are about their new school. In return, the workers expressed how proud they are to be able to help make it happen.
So you see, while the bricks, mortar and exterior walls of the ERC are now in place and the focus shifts to finishing the interior, the heart of the ERC comes from within our staff, our kids and our many generous and dedicated donors who have made it a reality.
Scott also shared how much he and his crew have enjoyed being part of the ERC project. He said that with some construction projects the people who will benefit are only looking at how it will make their lives easier and can be critical and demanding to make sure their personal desires are fulfilled. But he doesn’t see that at Cunningham.
“The staff at Cunningham is so genuinely grateful for the ERC,” Scott said, “and not because it will make their work easier, but because it will help them to better the lives of their students.”
And hearing that, friends; does our heart good.