Ribbon Cutting Jan. 26 at SAHEC Child Care Center

Photo of the SAHEC Child Care Center Construction

The 3,000-square-foot SAHEC Child Care center will open on Jan. 26.

SIKESTON, Mo., Jan. 5, 2006 — A Jan. 26 ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for the 10,800-square-foot expansion at the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center, which will include a child care center.

Parents who are interested in child care services at the new SAHEC child care center can access an application form online. Completed forms may be returned to the SAHEC administrative office. Additional questions may be directed to Judy Buck, director of SAHEC, at (573) 472-3210.

Dr. Paula King, chair of the Department of Human Environmental Studies, said she hopes to have the child care center open by the Jan. 26 ribbon cutting ceremony for the new addition. The two-story addition will increase the size of the current 33,000-square-foot SAHEC facility by approximately one-third, according to Tom Hadler, project manager with Southeast’s Facilities Management. In addition to the child care center, the SAHEC expansion will feature additional classroom and office space. An additional 1,800 square feet of existing space also is being renovated for a science lab.

Hadler says the 3,000-square-foot child care center will have three classrooms, five bathrooms, plus four additional sinks in the classrooms for sterilizing and hand washing, two changing stations, a sterilizing dishwasher, and a kitchen that prepares “plated” food (catered meals). The center will have its own reception and director’s office and its own entrance.

Additional highlights will include a 3,000-square-foot fenced playground area with both hard-surfaced and grass areas, as well as an observation room for parents and for students doing observations, according to Hadler.

“In addition to serving students who need child care during classes and community residents who need child care, the center also will provide experiential learning opportunities for SAHEC students,” King says. “Students from our child development classes will have the chance to observe, participate and take part in the child care process at the center. As they learn more about educating young children, the students will gradually become more involved. They will experience their first actual teaching day, where they plan a day’s activities under the supervision of one of the center’s instructors.”

Total cost of the expansion is $2.18 million, which includes engineering and design, construction and furnishings, Hadler said. Construction work is being done by Sides Construction Company from Jackson, Mo. Funding for the project comes from an appropriated portion of a sales tax approved by Sikeston residents, according to Buck.