Scholastic celebrated its golden anniversary in Jefferson City with an open house Saturday at its local distribution center.
The company opened its Jefferson City offices 50 years ago as it looked for a centralized distribution hub. Scholastic now operates its National Service Organization out of Jefferson City, which is responsible for all of Scholastic's distribution operations.
"The organization wanted something more centralized for shipping purposes," said Tammy Chute, vice president of human resources at Scholastic. "At the time we got a pretty deal on the property."
Construction on a 25,000-square-foot office building and 80,000-square-foot warehouse at 2931 E. McCarty St. began in 1967. Scholastic shipped its first order from the facility Feb. 23, 1968. Before the facility opened, the company operated an East Coast distribution center and a West Coast distribution center.
Book fair materials, educational products shipped to schools and products shipped to wholesale retailers are shipped out of the facility. Scholastic does not print products at the distribution center, but the company has local customers. Chute said Scholastic makes up about 80 percent of business for local printer Command Web.
Over the past 50 years, the company added another facility on Robinson Road and built a new distribution center at 6525 Stertzer Road. The company still maintains a presence in its original McCarty Street office, though.
"Our footprint at the McCarty facility didn't allow us to expand," Chute said.
Scholastic's now has about 1 million square feet of space in Jefferson City. It employs about 1,600 people in Jefferson City during peak times of the year. The NSO also operates a call center in Neosho.
Chute said Scholastic plans to be in the region for a long time to come.
"We're quite proud of our employee population here and the tremendous dedication they have," Chute said. "Our plans are to be around for a long time."