In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their Club Charter, the Rotary Club of Innsbrook decided to undertake a major community service project. In keeping with the goals of the charter members, the Club wanted to support a project that would be environmentally responsive, beneficial to children, and ultimately one that resulted in a significant, tangible leave-behind, to serve and better the community, beyond that of a monetary donation. The Club also wanted a project in keeping with the Rotary International theme during year 2008 of which was “Making Dreams Real.”
Beginning in 2008 and culminating in 2010, the Rotary Club of Innsbrook, successfully undertook its largest project in the Club’s 20-year history. That project was to expand and renovate Coal Pit Learning Center’s aging schoolhouse that, for 35 years, has served children of low-income families in the western area of Henrico County, Virginia. The school was housed in a turn of the century facility that needed major upgrades to continue to serve its children and to expand to include the many families on the waiting list each year. The biggest positive affect of Innsbrook Rotary’s 20th Anniversary Project was to double the size of Coal Pit Learning Center. The addition of a new classroom and multipurpose space made possible the expansion of the preschool program to a five-day, full-time operation. This was a major leap from the half-day, part-time program that Coal Pit historically offered. Through the leadership of its own members, and partnering with the community at large, the Rotary Club of Innsbrook rebuilt and transformed the existing 1,500 square foot structure, doubling its usable space to 3,000 square feet. A large multi-purpose classroom was added in addition to renovating the one small existing one. Office space for teachers, kitchen and laundry facilities, multiple rest rooms, music space with a grand piano, and a new, safe, expansive playground were added and/or remodeled. The entire space is now also code-compliant and wheelchair-accessible. Thanks to the commitment of the Innsbrook Rotarians and the many people they brought on board, the Coal Pit Learning Center can now better provide a great start to children who otherwise would not have the opportunity for a pre-school education.