OSAGE | The Osage Community Day Care project is on schedule to open in January 2019.
“It’s moving along very nicely,” said Osage Community Daycare Director Shelly Parks, who noted rain has not delayed construction of the building, where walls are up and interior work will be starting soon.
The new building is projected to hold 115 children, with space for an additional 45 school-age children.
Flooring and exterior colors will be picked this week, Parks said, and Emma Williams is working on a logo.
“It’s wonderful to have someone from the local community designing for us,” Parks said.
Williams, who was part of Iowa Big North, is interning with the day care’s architect.
Parks is writing grants for the day care, as it will need cots, tables, chairs and kitchen equipment – including pots, pans and utensils.
“We’ve been using some of that stuff for the past 11 years, since we opened up the kitchen, and it’s gotten well used with cooking for 80 kids per day,” she said. “Any donations are great.”
Parks is grateful to those who have helped the board reach this point.
“I’d like to thank Mitchell County and the City of Osage, who stepped in and said this needed to move forward and to the local businesses and individuals, who have donated and supported our fundraiser, as well as all those who have been outspoken in their support of our needs,” Parks said.
Osage Schools is collaborating with the day care on a joint playground, which will be shared between Lincoln Elementary School and the new facility, which has never had a playground.
The day care is leasing land from the school district for its building.
The playground, which will have two different entrances for the school and day care, will be specifically designed for 2-year-olds to first-graders, offering swings, a play structure, a sand table, four-spring rides and equipment that makes music.
Superintendent Barb Schwamman said the district needed to comply with all its early childhood regulations, including playground equipment.
“The district receives funds for projects like this, so we would have been installing even if there was no new day care,” she said.
The project, estimated at $120,000, will be financed by a combination of preschool funds, the physical plant and equipment levy, local option sales tax and grants, according to Schwamman. By law, PPEL and local option sales tax is mainly designated for school improvement projects, like playgrounds.
“I’m really thankful to the school for working with us so our kids will have a wonderful playground,” Parks said.
Equipment will be installed in about eight weeks.