The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 28, 2013

Cooperation for children

OTTUMWA — It's just the kind of cooperative project donors like to see: One group had a successful school program but no more room. Another had plenty of square footage but no existing school program.

"When the preschool at the hospital closed, Seton was asked if we could help [handle overflow] of children," said Julie Gentz, principal at Seton Catholic School. "We looked for a larger classroom."

Seton is owned by St. Mary's of the Visitation Catholic Church, which is located at the corner of Court and Fourth streets. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation facilitated conversations among local day care providers. Gentz saw the writing on the wall, said a "neighbor" of Seton school.

"She guessed — correctly — that there would be an increased demand for preschool in the community," said Jon Disburg, pastor at First United Methodist Church.

Unfortunately, Seton had run out of space.

"We partnered with First United Methodist Church and rented two rooms from them, hired a teacher and two paraprofessionals," Gentz said.

That church, also on Fourth Street, is across the street from Seton.

As the wife of a pastor, Gentz said, she knew church members can be sensitive when it comes to changes to their landmark building. To have people from another church tearing out windows to install air conditioning units could have been worrisome among the Methodist congregation.

Even trickier, Disburg acknowledged, is the reality that cooperation between church groups of various denominations has not always been good. But that's changing, he believes.

"The one thing we have in common is faith in Christ," he said. "That should surpass doctrinal issues. Any time [those issues] would keep us from providing a safe place for children to learn, well, then, we need help."

Member support has been very positive, Disburg said. He'd known that the third floor of their 1800s-era church was under-utilized. The Seton staff did a great job turning that unused space into a pair of preschool classrooms, he said. The principal at Seton said they were able to do the work right thanks to a grant they landed last week from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.

Text Only
Local News
  • It feels good to help others OTTUMWA — Volunteering helps the community in multiple ways. But don't ignore the good things this new RSVP program will do for the volunteer. "There are health and social benefits," said Desiree Johnson, president and CEO of the United Way of Wapell

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook