A ribbon-cutting in late March marked the grand opening of Missouri Southern’s Lion Cub Academy: A Child Development Center.

The center, formerly known as the Child Development Center and located in Taylor Hall, is now housed in the Joplin Regional Center building at 3600 Newman Road. Extensive renovations have created more space for the program as well as unique learning opportunities for both students and children.

“We’ve gone from being licensed for 59 kids a day to 92 a day,” said Nikki Tappana, director of Lion Cub Academy. “Our new facility is amazing, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer this kind of learning experience to our children.

One of the most unique features of the Lion Cub Academy is the natural outdoor classroom, she said.

“Research shows that if children don’t spend enough time outside, it can affect their educational development,” said Tappana. “We’ve received a Farm to Preschool grant so we can raise some of our own vegetables. The grant came with educational supplies for children and we’ve purchased some raised beds.”

Lion Cub Academy Ribbon Cutting Spring 2017

The center provides care for children of students, faculty, staff and alumni.