New Horizons seeks new digsA construction project at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is spurring construction of a new childcare center in the Central Grand project area. With plans to raze Sundquist Hall when the new academic building opens, New Horizon’s Children’s Center is in need of a new home.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A construction project at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is spurring construction of a new childcare center in the Central Grand project area.
With plans to raze Sundquist Hall when the new academic building opens, New Horizon’s Children’s Center is in need of a new home.
And owner Cindy Fennessey is planning an 8,300-square-foot facility to house the child care operation.
The city’s Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday gave preliminary approval for the sale of land at North 13th Street and Weeks Avenue, and a development agreement to guide the terms of the deal.
Fennessey said she considered a number of sites, but the location in the Central Grand project area would allow her to continue serving the university as well as providing a location with easy access for the rest of the community.
It’s the first time since 1988 that a new childcare center will be constructed in the city.
It’s a 28,000-square-foot piece of property with an appraised value of about $95,000, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck. Under the terms of the development agreement, he said the city would refund about half the purchase price for site improvements, he said.
The plan includes soft earth tones on the exterior of the building to coordinate with the Enbridge building already in the project area.
But building the new center, Fennessey plans to expand the number of children she can serve. Currently, she serves 92 children.
“This center will be licensed for up to 114 children ranging in ages from two weeks to 12 years old,” Fennessey said. She said while she currently has 20 full-time equivalent staff she employs, she expects to increase staff with the expansion.
“Demographics show an increased need for quality child care in the Superior area,” Fennessey said. “Building a new center in this downtown location will provide child care to the local community along with providing convenient access for parents.”
Fennessey said she is currently working with a local bank to finance the project. She plans to break ground in early November with completion anticipated in April.
“This is a good project,” said Redevelopment Authority member Kevin Norbie.