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GRREC dedicates addition at transpark

By LAUREL WILSON lwilson@bgdailynews.com
Green River Regional Educational Cooperative members got their first look Wednesday at the newly completed addition to the organization’s headquarters at the Kentucky Transpark.
“Everybody has walked in this morning going, ‘Oh wow, I had no idea it was going to be so awesome,’ ” said Shea Rogers, associate director of operations at GRREC.
GRREC, which serves 42 public school districts in the region, built the nearly 14,000-square-foot addition because it was running out of room to host the more than 400 professional development events it has each year, Rogers said. The $3.5 million project by Alliance Corp. includes a conference center, commercial kitchen and several meeting rooms.
“This is for the kids of our region,” Rogers said. The conference center will provide “teaching and learning for our teachers to get their professional development. In turn, that goes back to the schools in our region.”
The facility is beautiful thanks to a lot of hard work by many people, but “it’s not about anyone here today,” GRREC Executive Director George Wilson said during the addition’s grand opening and dedication ceremony Wednesday after a board meeting.
“It’s the impact we can have on 150,000 kids,” he said. “That’s a powerful hill for all of us to stand on today.”
GRREC staff have already used the new space for about a month and Wilson is excited to see it put to use by superintendents, teachers of staff from the 42 districts.
“They’re the reason we do what we do,” Wilson said. “If we’re good, they’re the reason. The key to education is the people that are standing on the front lines every day doing battle for our kids.”
Ricky Line, chairman of the GRREC board of directors and superintendent of Hart County Schools, said students are the most important thing for districts.
With the new addition, “GRREC has allowed us another way to serve our students,” he said. “GRREC is so supportive and we need that support.”
State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said during the grand opening that “this is a day of celebration.” Kentucky has come a long way in education since he started teaching decades ago, he said.
“I am so proud of where education has come in my lifetime,” Richards said. “Our kids are doing so well and I’m so proud of them. Nowhere in the state has this progress been more salient than in this part of the state.”
State Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said during the dedication that one of the most important things people can do is invest in the future and a key way to do that is train teachers.
“We know a good teacher makes a huge impact,” he said. “The Lord said the best thing you can be is a servant and this, to me, is about serving our teachers, serving our districts and ultimately serving our kids.”

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