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Child Care Center Renovations

Report To:  The Members of First Presbyterian Church

From:  Keith Love, Elder and Board Chair of The Child Care Center of FPC Asheville

Subject:  Child Care Center Expansion and Renovation

Date:  November 9, 2016



I am excited to report to you about a project that the Child Care Center (CCC) has been working on with the church.  This project has been a long time in the development phase and has finally come to fruition as implementation starts this week.  Representatives of the staff and board of the CCC and representatives of the church staff and Property Committee have been in conversation over the last four years, and what started then as an idea has now been developed into a detailed plan.  The time is right for this project to move forward as the CCC has had sustained enrollment of 90 children; has a long waiting list; and has a strong reputation as one of the finest child care centers in our community.  The CCC is in a good position to leverage these strengths and to execute an expansion and renovation plan which will enable the center broaden and deepen its ministry and to secure its future.

What do we hope to achieve?

The project has four main objectives:

1.    serve more children;
2.    meet a need that is not being met by our current offerings;
3.    improve financial performance;
4.    improve overall operational efficiency.   

What are the elements of this plan and how will it impact the church and the ministry of the CCC?

The elements of the expansion and renovation plan include the following:

A.    Playground Expansion:  A perimeter fence is being installed around the yard in front of the educational wing on Church Street.  This fence will match the black fence that surrounds the Memorial Garden.  This will create a green playground space that can be used by both the Child Care Center and the church.  This space will be left as a natural space and will not include the type of playground equipment found on typical playgrounds.  The task force is teaming up with a group called Natural Learning Environments that works with institutions in urban settings to create natural designs for outdoor spaces.  The playground expansion is critical as the current license of the CCC is 90 children.  This limit to the center’s enrollment is based on the amount of playground space that the center has.  Only when we have more playground space can the CCC serve more children.    

B.    Transition-To-Kindergarten:  The CCC is launching a T-K program which will serve those children who just miss the August birthday cutoff for going to school and therefore must spend another 8-12 months in the 4 year-old classroom before moving on to kindergarten.  The T-K program allows these children to move up to a progressively developmentally appropriate program rather than staying behind in the same class, which for these children could be up to two years.  In order to get this program started, the CCC needs an additional classroom and will be sharing a classroom with one of the Bible Journeys classrooms on the first floor of the educational wing.  The classroom will be shared by similar ages which accommodates easy transition from the weekday T-K program to the Sunday Bible Journeys program.  

C.    Fire Corridor:  In order to accommodate the T-K classroom on the first floor of the educational wing, the task force had to work through issues with the Building Department and the Fire Marshall to ensure that emergency egress for the children meets the current codes.  Emergency egress for the Sunday activities will not be impacted.  The requirement for the T-K operation is that the corridor just outside of the Bible Journeys hall must be fire rated.  This corridor is not fire rated today.  The fire rating will require that the ceiling tiles in this area be replaced with fire rated ceiling tiles and that two sets of fire rated doors be located in the hallway in order to create the emergency egress corridor.  One set of doors will be located near the Bartsch Kitchen, and the other set of doors will be located right around the corner just south of the double doors for the library.  The fire rated doors are wooden and will match the dark oak trim that is in this area now.  The doors will remain open at all times and will be held open by a magnetic fire alarm controlled latch.  The only time the doors will be closed is when the fire alarm is activated.  While creating this fire corridor is a requirement only for the T-K operation, the side benefit for the church program is that the hall outside of Bible Journeys is upgraded to a fire rating which is good for everyone.

D.    Office Spaces:  Two other components of this renovation include adding offices for the management of the CCC.  Currently, the Executive Director, the Curriculum Coordinator and the Administrative Assistant share an office that is located inside the CCC hallway.  In addition to housing these three staff members, this office space is used for a number of other things including storage and staff resource room.  This current arrangement is untenable and has been at a breaking point for years.  Addressing this issue now with the work going on in these other areas is the prudent and sensible thing to do.  

To accommodate the needs of the center management, the Church has agreed to allow the CCC to create a new office by using approximately one third of the conference room off of the main lobby.  This new office will be used by the Executive Director of the CCC.  The impact to the church by creating this new office will be minimal as the current configuration of this conference room is not an efficient use of the space.  The church’s conference room will be smaller but much better configured for the numbers of people and types of meetings that take place in this room.

The second office that will be created for CCC management will be the office that is next to the Heritage Room just outside of the Bible Journeys hallway.  Currently this office is used for archives, storage and for duplicating the recordings of each Sunday’s worship service for our members who are not able to attend worship.  The plan calls for this office to be shared by the Administrative Assistant of the CCC and the church.  This office is in a state of disrepair right now with water damage from the floor above, peeling paint, plaster deterioration and non-functioning windows.  All of these issues will be addressed, and when the project is completed, the church will have a nicely refurbished office.

So when is all this going to start, how long is it going to take, and who is doing the work?

Project Timeline:  The project begins this week with the installation of the fence for the yard on Church Street.  The remaining elements will follow with anticipated completion by January 2017.  The overall scope of this project is relatively small, and the work can be done quickly.  The contractor that has been chosen to perform the work is Beverly-Grant.  Beverly-Grant is the same contractor who did our recent sanctuary and kitchen renovations.  The church has been very pleased with the final product and with the way that project was managed.  The working relationship with Beverly-Grant was excellent.  The task force will oversee the implementation of the project to ensure minimal disruption to the activities of the church.

Who will oversee the project?

Project Task Force:  At its meeting on January 25, 2016, the Session received an initial report from the CCC regarding its request for expansion and renovation.  The Session approved the CCC to continue its development of the plan.  At its meeting on May 3, 2016, the Session received an updated report from the CCC and authorized the convening of a task force to work out the details of the plan and to report back to the Session for final approval.  At its meeting on October 4, 2016 the Session received the detailed plan from the task force and approved the project for implementation.  The members of the task force include:      

Dupree Davis - Church Staff, Property Manager
Steve Frellick - Church Member, Property Committee, CCC Board Member
Emily Kite - Church Member, Senior Associate, Novus Architects
Keith Love- Church Member, CCC Board Member
Nancy McNeill - Church Staff, Director of Faith Development
Michael Poulos - Church Staff, CCC Board Member
Sandy Sellers- Church Member, Property and Interior Decorating Committees
Donna Toole - Executive Director of the CCC

How much is this project going to cost and who is paying for it?

The total cost of this project is approximately $120,000 including the architect’s design fees and the construction contract.  The CCC has taken on the responsibility for paying for this project.  At this point the church does not have any financial responsibility for the scope of work that has been identified.

This is an exciting time for the CCC and for the church.  The CCC has been serving families in Asheville since opening its doors in September 1968.  This is a ministry that the church stepped out and committed to almost fifty years ago as it identified the need and discerned the call to support working moms and dads and to care for their children.  We are privileged to carry on the legacy that those church pioneers established a half century ago and to recommit ourselves to serve what has become an even greater need today. 

If you have any questions about this project, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the task force.

If you are interested in seeing what goes on in the CCC, please do not hesitate to drop in.  Any of the staff would be happy to show you the great work we are doing.  We can also schedule and arrange a tour. 

Thank you for your support of this wonderful, critical and inspiring ministry. 

Earlier Event: November 6
All Saints Worship Service
Later Event: November 11