The effort to establish a daycare center in Belmond is gaining steam.
Ownership of the old Ramsay school (pictured above) was transferred last week from Old School Records to the local group called Build a Better Belmond. BBB members toured the building with the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Human Services.
“The building looks good inside, and the fire marshal was very pleased that there was a newer fire sprinkler system already installed,” said Belmond City Manager Darrel Steven Carlyle. “There is $470,000 left in the Jacobson Fund for Belmond that was earmarked for daycare. Build a Better Belmond would like to improve the building and then lease it for $1 a year to a daycare provider.”
“Overall, the state inspectors were happy with the condition of the building,” stated BBB member Larry Turner.
“The DHS is excited about our project,” said daycare committee vice president Ashly Jenkins. “They said it could hold 100 kids if we needed to, and all we’d have to do is add a few new sinks.”
“Starting a daycare takes motivated people,” said committee president Brady Arnold, “I like getting things done.”
“Build a Better Belmond met with the daycare committee at the old school last week,” Turner stated. “The daycare people are working on setting up a non-profit organization. We are going to be getting prices on new windows, insulation, maybe a new roof, and maybe a new heating and cooling system. We think the boiler still works, but it might be better to have zoned heating and cooling so we can shut off rooms we aren’t using.
“Real soon now we will start work on construction of the soccer field on the east side of the property. That will include a storage building with restrooms.
“Later this week we will all be meeting with school officials to talk about the daycare study the school has been working on,” Turner stated.
“We are at a standstill until Phases 2 and 3 of the daycare study are finished by the school,” said Jenkins. “We need the study completed so we can show it to the Jacobson Fund people in Des Moines.”
There are about a dozen young parents with children on the daycare committee. They have decided to call the project Colts Corner.
“Our first activity will be a booth at the Fall Festival on Sept. 21. We have the results of the online daycare need survey taken earlier this year, but a lot of people missed that. We need to get an idea of how many parents need daycare, including the ages of their children,” Jenkins stated. “We hope people will stop downtown at our booth.
“Then, once we get our non-profit status established, we can begin raising money,” she continued. “We will need startup cash for supplies, utilities, salaries, food, etc. We also want to put down new flooring.”
“There is good home daycare in Belmond,” Jenkins concluded. “We have one current daycare provider and two former daycare providers on our committee. But every year somebody retires, and there isn’t enough anymore. Nobody should have to quit their job because they don’t have daycare.”
“It affects my life every single day, not having a daycare center,” stated Arnold. “When you have a mother determined to get things done, it will get done.”
“There is a good group of.... read the entire story in the Belmond Independent.