ST. PAUL, Ark. (KFTA) — Plans to build a Career and Tech Center in Madison County gain momentum thanks to a donation from a St. Paul couple.
Janelle and Charles Riddle donated 8 lots of land right off the corner of 4th and Maple streets for the new Career and Technical Education campus to be built on. They originally purchased the land in 1994 to build a pet shelter but those plans fell through and it stayed empty. They say this is their way to give back to the school they call home.
The Huntsville School District is building two Career and Technology campuses, one of which will be in St. Paul. The goal is to give students another path to higher education.
Janelle, a St. Paul school teacher said the district was planning on demolishing one of the playgrounds to use as space for the campus. Janelle said that’s when she and her husband decided it was best to donate the land to save the playground.
“My mom taught for 50 years in Madison County and she taught her last 35 years here and it’s our home, daddy was on the school board, so my husband’s dad. This is just our town,” Janelle said.
Riddle said the donation will save the school over $200,000 and provide more technical opportunities for the students. The land was surveyed on Friday and construction for the facility is expected to start in the spring.