Ribbon-cutting for St. Matthew’s Activity Center set for Tuesday

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Ground-breaking for the new activity center at St. Matthews Episcopal Church and Day School was in November 2018. Two years later, they will finally be holding a ribbon-cutting for the new facilities on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

“It’s been a long journey of fundraising and designing,” Lysette Letz, treasurer for St. Matthew’s, said. 

Rector Mark Lang said the project had been talked about off-and-on for the last 20 years.

“It’s been talked about for a long time,” Lang said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of thought and effort.”

St. Matthew’s saw the need for the project because when there was bad weather, the children would go to the Parish Hall. For many decades, it has been a dream to have an area for the children to play during inclement weather. Around here, that includes 100-pluss degree days, 40-mile-an-hour winds and very cold or snowy weather.

“The Parish Hall is a small facility to run and play and burn off energy,” Lang said. “There was a lot of care put into furnishing and decorating the Parish Hall. The school probably felt uncomfortable at times letting the children run full steam in there. Then sometimes there were conflicts (in scheduling) between school activities and church activities.”

Lang added many of the special events the school held on a regular-basis were too large to be housed in the Parish Hall with parents.

The Board of Directors eventually came in and decided to go for the project.

“It’s been a culmination of a lot of people’s thoughts, energy and effort,” Lang said. 

The approximate $850,000 project is funded by foundation grants and a lot of donors from the community and church.

“If we had heard that figure when from the get-go we would have said ‘We can’t do this’,” Lang said. “So it’s kind of good that it snuck up on us.”

Letz said the project was a phased approach.

“We decided it may take 10 years but at least we got the project done,” Letz said. “We started with just the shell, then we went for it. By the time the shell was built we had enough money for the inside, so we went for the next stage. That’s how it ended up costing more than we planned, but we didn’t think we’d get it done as quick as we did.”

The facility is 100-feet by 80-feet and may be used in the future by other community entities and fundraisers. It includes a kitchen, bathrooms and a tornado shelter, as well.

“We’re just real excited about this building,” Letz said. “We didn’t think we would get it done. We’re excited we are where we are and can’t wait to fill that space with the children.”

Day School Director Kelly Cambern said every donation went a long way toward getting the facility built.

“We’ve been so blessed that the church, grants and individuals (made this happen),” Cambern said. “Whether it was $100, $50, etc. Every bit of that those people have given have made this possible for the day school. The community, parishioners, old students, etc. All of this together has had God’s hand in it since the beginning. We have been blessed. It’s not a vision now, it’s a reality.”

Lang said the project took a lot of faith and vision to make it happen.

“Anything that is worth-while doing and will serve humanity, it requires some thoughtful discernment, prayer and a lot of faith that God will make it happen,” Lang said. 

The ribbon-cutting will be Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. at St. Matthew’s, located at 727 W. Browning. For more information call 806-665-0703.

About St. Matthew’s: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School was established in 1954 to provide day care and education for children 18 months through Kindergarten . The school normally serves approximately 100 children and operates at maximum capacity with waiting lists for some classes each year. State licensing has decreased these limits temporarily due to the pandemic, but we expect to be back at capacity next year. We currently have Pre-K classes for 3 year and 4 year- old children . We have childcare for infants (six weeks to 18 months), Little Tykes (18 months to two years), Stars (two years to three years), and after-school care for the Pre-K classes. All classes, including the infants, follow an extraordinary age-based curriculum as they are nurtured to be creative, well-mannered, and confident individuals. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School has a stellar reputation in the community for the care and education which it provides with alumni excelling as they continue their education.

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