Prior to the ribbon cutting, a mass of people gathered for the open house outside while listening to the staff and public officials speak about the new office building, what it took to finally get moved in and how thankful they are to have been given this opportunity to further their vision.
"We are thankful that you came to join us today and that we are having this event. For those of you that have been around, you remember where we were and where we are now. This has been a true journey in more ways than we could ever express," Staff Chair CEA FCS, Terrie James said.
County Judge, Jerry Crane was also present and said a few words of welcome and gratitude. "This has been a community effort and that's what I'm enjoying, working with the county, the city and the people that live in this area, it takes all of us. I just want to welcome you here today. We can be proud of this facility and who we have running it, "Crane said
Carla Due, Ouachita District Director drove in from Little Rock for the open house, "I want to thank the Judge, the Quorum Court and the community for this facility. I have worked in Southwest Arkansas for 33 years, so I know where they came from and this is like the Taj Mahal compared to that with the space and the availability. We are just so thankful to the Judge and the Quorum Court for this opportunity,' Due said.
Associate Vice President-AG & Natural Resources for Extension, Vic Ford said, "We have talked about changes, going from where we were at to where we are going. The Extension Service has always been changing, getting research from the ivory towers to apply research to the people and that's what we do. This facility is going to facilitate that mission to not only help our agriculture producers but also our families and our children. So, I look forward to the good things that is going to happen here. Folks, this is a monumental day," Ford said.
City of Hope Board Director, Mark Ross stepped up to say a few words to the crowd, "I want to welcome everybody. When we say we want the city and the county to work really close, I think today proves that we can do that," Ross said.
The ribbon was cut to the sound of applause and everyone went inside to tour the new offices and snack on a spread of sweet and savory foods.
Executive Director of the Hope Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, Christy Burns said, "I know they are so grateful to finally be operating in their new location. They have so much more space here. I am thankful for all the work they do within our county."