Richland One early learning center named in memory of former School Board member Vince Ford

Vince Ford served on the Richland One Board of School Commissioners for 24 years.
Vince Ford served on the Richland One Board of School Commissioners for 24 years.(Prisma Health)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 12:59 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County District One will be naming a new early learning center after former School Board member Vince Ford.

The Richland One Board of School Commissions approved the recommendation the facility be named Vince Ford Early Learning Center. Ford’s wife Patricia, and his daughter Robyn, were in attendance at the meeting.

“We are so delighted to name this facility after such a gentle giant, my friend and mentor the Honorable Vince Ford,” said Richland One Board Chairwoman Cheryl Harris. “Vince lived his life advocating for the health, well-being, and educational opportunities for the children he both loved and served within this community.”

A press release stated the center will have a state-of-the-art media center, family clinic, dental room, food pantry, student café, family engagement room, and professional development rooms.

There also will be multiple indoor and outdoor play spaces to meet the development needs of young children. Mental health and other support services will be available to families.

The center will be a 71,000-square-feet, having the capacity to serve 312 students. The facility will be built on a site at Caughman Road and Rawlinson Road in the Lower Richland community.

“Mr. Ford’s leadership, legacy, and passionate belief in the power of education will live on in many ways, including through the work that will be done at this center to ensure that children have a strong foundation for school and that families have the support, resources, and assistance they need,” said Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon.

Vince Ford was a graduate of A.C. Flora High School, he was elected to the Richland One School Board of School Commissioners in 1992, and he served for 24 years. During his time on the board, he was chairman eight times.

In 2019, Ford was inducted into the Richland One Hall of Fame. He was the senior vice president of community affairs with Prisma Health. He passed away in December 2022.

A groundbreaking ceremony for Vince Ford Early Learning Center will be held in February.

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