Protect Smouse's Purpose
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In 1931 a man named David W. Smouse, a successful business venture, a Des Moines physician who wanted to better serve students with disabilities after an investment in an insurance company jumped 500 percent, according to documents from the National Register of Historic Places. He chose to leave it in Des Moines. As he expressed it, "the school seemed the best way."
With great intentions and heart, giving handicapped children hope he donated the costs to build David W. Smouse Opportunity School. It serves students with physical and mental disabilities that are unable to attend a regular public school. Smouse is located in Iowa and was built to desegregate handicapped children, who were generally institutionalized in isolation. In addition in 2012 additional money came in when the school received nearly $1.2 million followed by monthly royalty payments, thanks to a gift in Smouse's will.
Smouse had a purpose and built this school for the purpose of a place for children with disabilities.
The facility is designed for each individual and their needs. "The blackboards were tilted to prevent glare for the visually impaired, rooms were designed to carry sound vibrations for the hearing impaired students. Large windows and three courtyards provided fresh air. One of the courtyards had a fountain. The restrooms were adapted, temperature controls in each classroom, and a rooftop playground was included in the building’s design. A swimming pool was added in 1955. Financial gifts were used to purchase works of art throughout the building. Imported ceramic tiles, wrought iron signs, working fireplaces and decorative light fixtures also adorned the facility. The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places In 2002."
To this day this school is a comforting environment for the children, the staff are beyond amazing and the support given to each child is exceptional. A place the children feel safe and comfortable. A place fit for each child's needs. A school that a man financed and built for these purposes. The purpose giving handicapped and or behavioral children, whom can't be in a public school setting, a chance to experience school, a chance to thrive, a chance at life in general.
I have a 5 year old daughter with several medical conditions whom can't go to a public school and I will forever be grateful that Dr. Smouse went above and beyond for his dedication and hope giving our children this gift.
This year we received letter that the Des Moines Public School and board made the decision that next school year, The Smouse building will be used for staff training and a center for immigrant and refugee families.
This is not what Smouse was built for. These were not David Smouse intentions.
They want to move the handicapped children over to another building and send all behavioral back to public schools. This is not only a terrible decision and will set back so many children this is not what Smouse was left for.
Ruby can meter building be used for staff training and a center for immigrant and refugee families.
They need to leave Smouse as the school it was build and financed.
This is just another situation of how the system continues to take from the special needs community.
Dr. David Smouse financed this school to be a Opportunity School for Children with disabilities he did not Finance the school to be turned into a training department.
Please help support and be the voice of a child who cannot voice for him or herself and even a voice for dr. David Smouse
Leave Smouse as is as it was left and as it was meant to be if you need a building for the purposes of trainings Etc use the Ruby Van Meter building as that is a building not left for purposes
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