Greenwood receives $4.6 million

The Greenwood Elementary School currently sits vacant. $7.9 million is required to complete the Greenwood Project. Photo by Rachel Becker

Truman State University recently received $4.6 million from the Missouri government to assist with the Greenwood Project.

Truman has been working to convert the previous Greenwood Elementary School into the Greenwood Interprofessional Autism Center. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed the 2022 fiscal year operating budget for Missouri June 30. The budget Parson signed was $35.6 billion. $20.2 million will go toward four-year higher education.

“For all of the children and their families who deal with autism on a day-to-day basis, there is no doubt that more support needs to be made available,” Parson stated on Facebook.

The Greenwood Project needs $7.9 million in total to be completed. $6.8 million has been received so far from the Missouri government. An additional $1.1 million was received from a Sunderland Foundation of Kansas City grant in 2019, with the funds being allotted over the following two years.

The conversion of Greenwood into an interprofessional autism center began in 2015. A July 12 press release from the University states that the goal of Greenwood is to “provide in-depth, interdisciplinary assessment and intervention for children with autism or suspected autism, as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The Greenwood Elementary School was originally built in 1935 and was purchased by the University in 1999 when the Kirksville School District replaced Greenwood with a new elementary school. Since that time the building has been mostly used as a storage facility.

In 2016, Truman’s Board of Governors approved Mackey Mitchell to provide architectural services to the project. Funds began being received in 2017, with $5.5 million from the state being appropriated for Greenwood but only $565,831 was received that year for initial services on the project.

No funding was received in 2018 from state, local or grant funds. $466,667 was received from state capital funds in 2019, with an additional $600,000 from local funds utilized to replace the windows of the building. $1.15 million was appropriated from Missouri capital funds in 2020 for site and infrastructural improvements.

Once finished, Greenwood will be staffed by licensed professionals as well as students enrolled at Truman and A.T. Still University.

In the press release in 2021, University President Sue Thomas offered her gratitude for all the support the Greenwood Project has received. Thomas said she is honored that Truman is taking the lead on this project to both save a historic, local building and help those in the Kirksville area.

“With the continued support of Adair County SB 40, area health care partners, our faculty and staff, A.T. Still University, elected officials and the local community, we will provide an invaluable resource of which we will all be proud,” Thomas said.