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Construction starts on $4.6 million child care center
Monday, May 11, 2009

Child Care Center Groundbreaking

⇒ Read a history of the Child Care Center

Facts about the center:

⇒The Campus and Community Children’s Center (CCCC) was founded in September 1974.

⇒The CCCC currently employs approximately 30 qualified persons as well as several student volunteers from SUNY Fredonia and Jamestown Community College.

⇒The 16,000-square-foot facility will be located on the west edge of the SUNY Fredonia campus, at the corner of Temple Street and Brigham Road.

⇒Construction will allow expansion into new infant care, additional toddler, and pre-school care, as well as additional before- and after-school programs.

⇒The center serves 150 to 175 children per year, a figure which will increase when the added infant care capabilities are added to the new facility.

⇒Currently half of the center’s customers come from the greater Dunkirk-Fredonia Community from residents with no direct link to the SUNY Fredonia campus. The remaining half is comprised equally of children of SUNY Fredonia students and staff, as well as other state employees.

⇒Although there have been numerous expansions, additions and renovations on campus over the last two decades, including the Natatorium, University Commons and Rosch Recital Hall to name just a few, this will be the newly constructed, stand-alone structure erected on the main campus since Steel Hall Arena was built in 1983.

⇒Observation rooms will be included in the new facility’s design, allowing parents the opportunity to better resolve any separation anxiety issues upon dropping off their children.  In addition, SUNY Fredonia students and faculty can conduct required field experiences, classroom assignments and research without interrupting the day-to-day child care activities.

⇒The project will include two adjacent fenced outdoor play areas along with parking and drop-off areas that will be accessible from both Temple Street and the campus.

⇒The $4.6 million capital project is anticipating a move-in date of January 2010.

When most construction projects get underway, there are always plenty of adults in attendance, ready to lend a hand. But this morning at SUNY Fredonia, some kids got into the act as well.

Ground was broken this morning for SUNY Fredonia’s new Campus and Community Children’s Center, and in addition to the many campus and elected officials who

Child Care Center entry
Architect's sketch

played a role, a small platoon of youngsters under the age of six donned miniature hard hats and wielded plastic sand shovels as they joined SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner, Fredonia Mayor Michael Sullivan, Kevin Muldowney (representing State Senator Catharine Young), New York State Director of Higher Education Daniel Doktori, Joel Keefer (representing County Executive Gregory Edwards), and many other university administrators and elected officials to help celebrate the latest example of growth on campus.

The $4.6 million facility, to be located on the western edge of the campus at the intersection of Temple Avenue and Brigham Road, will finally allow for infant care at the center — a long sought-after goal for the center — in addition to the toddler and pre-school care and before- and after-school programs it has always provided since it began operating in the first floor of Thompson Hall in 1974.

Facts about the value of quality child care in the U.S.>>

“Our campus has worked for nearly eight years to secure a free-standing child care center that will accommodate infant care. It took a while to secure the resources, but our persistence paid off,” said President Hefner. “I am excited about the project, and very grateful for the support provided by Sen. Young and Assemblymen (William) Parment and (Joseph) Giglio. They, along with Judy Metzger, the director of the Children’s Center, were wonderful partners in making this project a reality.”

Metzger, who has served as director since 1999, declared the new facility a win-win-win-win situation.

“It’s a win for the children at the center, a win for their families, a win for the campus and a win for the whole community,” she explained.

The center, which offers child care to not only campus employees and students, but to anyone within the greater Dunkirk/Fredonia community, will benefit by having an entire facility and surrounding grounds dedicated exclusively to its own programming and activities.

With 16,000 square feet of space, the new center will house a large, gross motor skills room (essentially a small gymnasium), to accommodate family activities as well as play activities when inclement weather limits access to outside playgrounds. It will also feature two infant rooms, two multi-age rooms, one toddler room, three observation rooms, administrative offices, a teacher planning room, a small kitchen and a lobby/receptionist area. A separate drop-off / pick-up point for parents will be accessible from Brigham Road.

The observation rooms are a significant new feature and will be highly beneficial for children and parents experiencing separation anxiety after leaving their child at the center.

“Separation anxiety for the youngest children can be a significant issue for parents,” Metzger explained. “This way they can feel comfortable knowing that their child is settled and content in class before they go off to classes or to work.”

The observation rooms will also be a valuable educational resource for SUNY Fredonia students enrolled in programs such as Early Childhood Education and Communication Disorders and Sciences to accomplish some of their required field experience and other research with the aid of this new facility. Similarly, faculty research will be enhanced due to the added capabilities these rooms will offer.

Another unique feature of the facility will be fenced-in play areas around the building that will include small hills and winding bike paths to accommodate play activities.

The center, which serves 150 to 175 children annually, operates early childhood and school-age programs. It is utilized as a training site for field experiences in Education, Sociology and Psychology by students from SUNY Fredonia as well as Jamestown Community College. Partnerships have been forged with the local Child Care Council, Success by Six and Chautauqua County Association for the Education of Young Children. Half of the children served come from the surrounding community; the remaining 50 percent are comprised equally of children of SUNY Fredonia students and staff, as well as other state employees.

"This center is such a tremendous point of pride for our campus,” President Hefner added. “Access to high-quality child care is a big issue for many of our employees as well as some students. To be able to provide them this level of care in a setting that is as convenient as it is effective really makes a tremendous impact on their quality of life. It’s also wonderful that we can have such a positive impact on those in the community with no direct connection to our campus who also use our facilities.”

Patrick Development Companies of East Amherst is the general contractor for the project. Buffalo-based Flynn Battaglia Architects designed the facility, assembled a team of sub-consultants for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and site and drainage work, and will monitor construction. Flynn Battaglia is currently engaged in the campus’ four-phase window replacement project in the Kirkland residential complex and has completed previous residence hall window replacement projects as well.

The building’s exterior will be a combination of fiber cement panels designed to match either the brick facing of adjacent university buildings or the distinctive, poured concrete look of the I. M. Pei-designed buildings that are centerpieces of the Fredonia campus.

The new center will meet or exceed the requirements for a Silver level rating from the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System for environmentally sustainable construction, said Markus Kessler, SUNY Fredonia’s director of Facilities Planning, thus insuring that it will be an energy efficient ,“green” building. All recent construction on campus has met or surpassed that standard. And although there have been numerous expansions, additions and renovations on the campus over the last two decades, including the Natatorium, Rosch Recital Hall and University Commons among many others, the Children’s Center will be the first newly constructed, stand-alone structure erected on the main campus since Steele Hall Arena was built in 1983.

“This project is part of the financial commitment the State of New York has made to the infrastructure of SUNY,” President Hefner added. “Gov. Paterson has continued providing support for SUNY construction activities because they help generate jobs locally as well as improve the facilities needed to educate students. Once completed, this new, free-standing facility will free space in Thompson Hall that can be used to accommodate the educational needs of our growing student population.”

The new Children’s Center is expected to be completed within nine or 10 months, and be ready to be occupied during the spring of 2010.

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