A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Greene County Early Learning Center’s (GCELC) new building is set for Friday, August 20 at 10 am at the site, 306 South Vine. The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking and refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
At a special meeting of the GCELC board of directors on Monday, Aug. 9, Harold Pike (HPC, LLC) of Ames was approved as the contractor with the low bid of $2,015,000 to construct the 9,484 square foot building. “The contractor is very excited about this building designed specifically for early childhood care and education. We’re all looking forward to getting it started,” said board co-president, Jacque Andrew.
“So many entities have helped move this project forward and we are most grateful to all of them. While leadership grant funding from Grow Greene County and the commitment from the Greene County Board of Supervisors jumpstarted the fundraising more than one year ago, this vision will become reality thanks to the amazing support of dozens of businesses and individuals from throughout the county,” said Andrew. “A key piece to the project was also the assurance of the prime building site which we thankfully received from the Greene County School board.”
“As the Greene County Early Learning Center celebrates its 16th anniversary of providing care to area children on August 15, we know there are more individuals and businesses that would like to be part of such a significant project and asset to our area. On behalf of the children and families served by the center, we welcome their contributions,” said fundraising co-chair/co-president, Bill Monroe.
A Childcare Challenge grant from the State of Iowa for $469,941 was received by GCELC in March, 2021 to help expand the availability of childcare. The new center will increase its capacity to 150 children.
GCELC is currently the only Department of Human Services “Star 4” rated center in the county demonstrating its quality commitment to staff education and training; health and safety measures and environmental practices to benefit the children it serves. When the new building is complete, the center would be eligible for the top Star 5 rating.