El Dorado: New Projects Infuse New Life (Quality of Life (Under 20K) | Winner)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 12:00 am  

SouthArk’s Health Science Center represents further commitment to that vision. It includes a lecture hall, operating-room suite, physical therapy assistant’s lab, simulation room, mock ambulance for the school’s paramedic program, two computer labs and an occupational-therapy lab.

Private donations funded the center’s construction. Gober said SouthArk is a vital part of the community’s

success, providing workforce development opportunities and serving as a valued employer. In

addition, the college hosts a lecture series featuring nationally renowned speakers.

“These community services as well as educational opportunities play a pivotal role in affording a quality of life that people want and expect today,” Gober said.

But that’s not all. El Dorado’s MusicFest is growing into a regional destination. Gober said events such as it and the Boomtown Classic distinguish El Dorado from other cities, especially those its size. A nonprofit group, El Dorado Festivals and Events, was created earlier this year to “facilitate the development of performing arts as a viable economic and cultural engine for the community.”

“It’s showtime in El Dorado,” Gober said.

Also this year, the El Dorado Economic Development Board committed $250,000 for the enhancement of local parks, including a new field for the Miracle League, which allows physically challenged kids the chance to play softball.

The South Arkansas Arboretum received some love as well, specifically a new pavilion and butterfly garden.

And, of course, there’s the nationally renowned El Dorado Promise, still going strong.

Funded by Murphy Oil beginning in 2007, the Promise provides a full college ride to every graduate of EDHS. Graduates receive a full scholarship, up to the highest annual resident tuition at a public university in Arkansas, which can be applied for tuition and mandatory fees at any accredited two- or four-year college in the U.S.

Gober believes all these things truly set El Dorado apart.

“The city has weathered many economic challenges over the last few years, but still stands tall as the economic, cultural, educational and recreational hub of this region,” he said.



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