Category Archives: Parklane Shopping Center

Two Wichita Learning Connection centers to open to help former students get diplomas

WICHITA — The South Central Kansas Education Service Center is opening two new sites in Wichita.

“What we do is we try to provide … cost-effective ways to provide education services to school districts,” says executive director Brad Pepper.

The south-central branch, which is based in Clearwater, serves 28 school districts and is one of seven education service centers in Kansas.

The center provides services such as integrating technology in classrooms, helping further professional development and arranging for reduced-rate equipment.

“Basically, if there’s a need that a school district has, we’ll provide that service,” Pepper says.

“They’re school districts without students,” is how he describes the centers.

At least that’s generally the case.

The two new Wichita sites will be part of a network of Wichita Learning Connection centers around the state that offer degree completion programs.

Pepper says the center partners with local school districts to help former students age 18 and older receive their high school diplomas.

“It’s an actual high school diploma,” Pepper says. He says that can carry more weight in the career world than a GED.

“We’re kind of targeting the Hispanic population,” Pepper says.

He says there’s a higher drop-out rate in that community, though Wichita Learning Connection is open to anyone.

One site will be in 1,550 square feet in New Leaf Plaza, formerly the Marina Lakes shopping center, at 21st and Amidon.

The other will be in 2,200 square feet at Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.

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Garden Plain State Bank to close branch at Parklane Shopping Center

WICHITA — Garden Plain State Bank’s lease is up at the Parklane Shopping Center, and the bank is not going to renew.

Bank president and CEO Patrick Walden says that branch underperformed.

“That branch was kind of stagnant,” he says. It “never really grew after the first couple of years.”

It opened in the center at Lincoln and Oliver in late 1994. It will close July 31.

The bank’s main office is near Maple and Maize, and it’s original bank is in Garden Plain.

Walden says he doesn’t have immediate plans to open another branch anywhere else, but he says, “We’re always looking to expand.”

Child Start to move within Parklane Shopping Center to former Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores space

WICHITA — Child Start executive director Teresa Rupp first moved the nonprofit, which provides early childhood development services, to Parklane Shopping Center in 1985.

The group “leased 10,000 square feet and thought we had died and gone to heaven,” she says of all the space.

That didn’t last for long. The organization grew to 23,000 square feet, but still it’s not enough.

So Rupp is moving the organization again, this time to new space within Parklane, which is at Lincoln and Oliver.

Child Start is keeping a sliver of its current space but moving the rest of its administrative office to about 30,000 square feet where Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores used to be.

That store moved to the former CompUSA space at 3665 N. Rock Road.

Dennis Fitzroy, a vice president with Builders Inc., handled the new Child Start lease at Parklane. Jeff Englert of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented Child Start.

Rupp hadn’t planned another move.

“Twenty five years ago, I said, ‘I am never moving 30 people again.’ ”

Now, she has to move 80 of Child Start’s 250 workers, but Rupp says it’s worth it on a number of levels.

The move will allow for more training space.

“We have a lot of people who want to come to train,” Rupp says of child care providers who need certification. “We have to turn people away.”

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