Four years ago it had been 50 years between groundbreaking ceremonies at what is now the Booneville Human Development Center, and while they are not doing so an an annual basis these days, celebrating new additions is a little more commonplace.
Saturday it was a ribbon cutting for a new pavilion, located adjacent to the recreational building, for which ground was broken in 2014 marking the first new building since the campus transitioned from the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium to a human development center in 1973.
“During this fiscal year we got some funds to build the pavilion,” said BHDC assistant superintendent Vanessa Wyrick.
Complete with picnic tables, the pavilion will provide a covered area for cookouts and other outdoor events, according to Wyrick. She said the area is used a lot by staff and clients at BHDC.
Superintendent Jeff Gonyea said Saturday there are plans to add a parking area for the recreation center and a longer range plan is to build two new dormitories on the campus.
Wyrick said there are also plans to utilize the green space between the recreation building and the pavilion by adding a bocce ball court and or a badminton court, or horseshoe pits.
“It’s going to be a really nice outdoor recreation area,” she said.
Last year the pool at BHDC was also repaired.
Following the ribbon cutting BHDC also hosted a parent’s meeting with a Deputy Department of Disability Services Director who provided parents with an update on funding and other matters involving HDCs.