Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) has received a $75,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation to construct a Teaching and Learning Center on the CUKC campus in Overland Park, Kan. The center will be located in the Ruth R. Cleveland Memorial Library and will create an enhanced learning environment for students. Current plans call for creating new study and testing spaces, refurbishing current study rooms, adding classroom and office space, and common study areas with modular furnishings.
The new space will feature private rooms for group study, along with smaller rooms to accommodate one to two students. The study rooms will include technology enabled workstations (e.g. tables with ports, WiFi bandwidth, and video cameras). Current learning and teaching-support personnel will be moved to the library to be more accessible for students using the new learning area.
The center will enrich the overall educational experience for CUKC students and faculty by establishing a collaborative space for interdisciplinary scholarly discussion, integrating learning support services, and providing resources for excellence in teaching.
Amy Piersol, vice president of Advancement for CUKC worked on behalf of the University to secure the grant for the project.
“The Sunderland Foundation is always extremely supportive of education, and this grant will provide our students with an enhanced learning environment,” Piersol said. “Cleveland University-Kansas City is truly grateful for the Sunderland Foundation’s generosity and this investment in current and future CUKC students.”
Established in 1945 The Sunderland Foundation was created by Lester T. Sunderland, who served for 33 years as president of the Ash Grove Cement Company. Seventy-four years later, the foundation continues to be managed by his descendants and offers grants in areas served by Ash Grove. Included are parts of Missouri and Iowa, along with Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Montana.
Rather than making grants for annual operating expenses, the foundation prefers to provide support for capital and special projects. Grants are awarded annually to organizations with tax-exempt status, and are focused primarily on higher education, health facilities, museums, community buildings, youth service facilities and other projects. The grants ease the burden of such repairs and new projects for the recipients, allowing their resources to be focused on other areas.
Piersol said that construction on the new center is scheduled to begin in mid-December after the conclusion of the fall term. The work is expected to continue into early 2020.