ARCHIVE LIBRARY

RIBBON-CUTTING FOR NEW ARC ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

Brought To You By The Arc

On February 8, 2024, the Arc Rapides held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate their new Administration Office. It was named the C. Rodney McNeal Administration Building in honor of one of the Arc Rapides’ founders and board members, Mr. C. Rodney McNeal, whose work and countless hours of dedication contributed to the successful mission of The Arc Rapides.

In 1955, a group of individuals with a common vision started a facility in Alexandria for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. The common bond these individuals had was that all of them had a child or sibling with special needs. At the time, the U.S. only offered institutional care for the disabled, and they were interested in starting a training model as an alternative. This was the start of John Eskew Training Center, where Mr. McNeal served as one of the original board members.

John Eskew Training Center partnered with St. Mary’s, Pinecrest, and Handiworks Production in a joint effort to serve those with special needs in the community. Mr. McNeal served on the Board of Directors for several of these organizations. His active participation in these facilities was fueled by the love for his daughter, Teena, who was born with developmental disabilities. Mr. McNeal remained an active board member at John Eskew Training Center from 1960 until 2012. He and his wife devoted over 30 years of service to John Eskew Training Center, often donating their own money to keep the organization afloat.

In the 1990’s, John Eskew Training Center joined the national Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and became The Arc Rapides. During this time, the old St Rita’s Catholic School on Ashley Avenue was purchased for The Arc Rapides’ new location. The former St. Rita’s rectory was purchased in 2022 and updated to house the administrative offices. The building was proudly dedicated in honor of Mr. C. Rodney McNeal’s devotion and service to this organization, and to the IDD community in Central Louisiana.

 

 

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