By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — FLORA — The Carroll County Purdue Extension will be getting some new digs in 2014.
The extension, previously housed in Delphi, will be adding on and moving into a building on the Carroll County 4-H fairgrounds in Flora.
A 56-by-60-foot addition will be added to the existing exhibit hall, making room for offices, storage, a work room and a lobby. A big draw to the space is that it’s on the fairgrounds and will have a wireless Internet connection, Joanne Lytton, Carroll County Extension Educator, said.
The new meeting room will seat 40 people and have the technology to host presentations and educational classes. Acoustics of the building have been improved and people will be able to bring their own laptops and hook up to the Wi-Fi.
The area will accommodate 100 people in its conference and meeting space and includes improved acoustics and upgraded amenities. The space can be expanded to seat 275 people.
The space will allow the extension to better serve 4-H meetings and Extension Homemaker meetings and provide educational programs more efficiently.
The Flora Community Club has been raising the money for the new addition at the existing building at the fairgrounds and secured a matching grant of $200,000.
The building will house the only Wi-Fi-enabled meeting room in the county that can fit more than five people, Lytton said.
Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Flora Community Club, Carroll Co. Purdue Extension and the Carroll County Agriculture Club ceremonially broke ground Wednesday at the Carroll County Fairgrounds.
“This has been a community project,” Lytton said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the community behind it.”
Lytton said there have been many people in the community who have helped out, including Miriam Robeson, treasurer for the Flora Community Club.
Robeson said the Flora Community Club decided funding this project was in line with what the club does, so the club’s board asked if the club could be involved.
The Northcentral Health Services agreed to give a matching $200,000 grant. In addition to that, grants were given from Anderson Foundation, Carroll County Community Foundation and Operation Roundup through Carroll White REMC, Robeson said. The Carroll County Agriculture Club donated the first and last $5,000 of the capital campaign.
Many groups were generous, Robeson said. Donations included $107,000 in individual and corporate donations, $20,00 from nonprofit organizations and $50,000 from the Flora Community Club. The rest of the money came from grants, for a total of $415,000.
Robeson said there has been a lot of excitement.
“We will be providing a high-tech learning and meeting space which is something the community can use,” Robeson said.
The space will be able to accommodate three different groups at one time, allowing for the Extension’s youth programs to expand and for more use by various community groups.
“We’re thankful the community is supporting it and looking forward to the community sharing it,” Lytton said.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.