Using federal money, Catonsville Community College is building a new child-care center that will more than double the capacity of the existing center on campus.
The college received a Community Development Block Grant of $513,490 through Baltimore County for the center, which is expected to open by the end of the academic school year next spring.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week.
The private, non-profit child-care center will lease land from the college for a nominal fee for the 5,500-square-foot building, according to Sherry L. Fuchs, center director.
A slightly larger area outside the building will be used for outdoor recreation by the children, who will range in age from 6 weeks to 12 years.
Fuchs said the center has been operating for nearly 20 years from a converted "temporary" wooden office building at the edge of a campus parking lot. That two-room facility has space for about 40 kids at any one time, and the current staff consists of four teachers and Fuchs.
The new building will enable up to 100 children to be cared for at once, and the faculty will double.
The center is used to help college students as well as to care for children, with paid staff supplemented by student teachers both from the community college and from the nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Fuchs said the center is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Development.
The new building, which is to be constructed on a vacant area across campus, will have four areas inside so that children may be separated into groups. The areas will be for children under ......TC years, 3- and 4-year-olds, school-age children, and kids there for only a few hours while their parents attend classes.
The Annapolis-based architectural firm of Bignell Watkins, Architects P.A. is designing the one-story brick building. The construction contract has not yet been awarded, Fuchs said.
A $25,000 grant from First Financial Credit of Maryland will pay for equipping the parts of the building to be used by school-age children, and some additional fund raising will be done to buy more new furnishings, Fuchs said.
Fuchs said that child-care fees cover most of the expenses for running the center, with the difference made up by the college. Seventy percent of those enrolling children must be low- or moderate-income people, a requirement for using the block-grant funds.
Child-care fees now are $70 a week for students at the college, $90 a week for college staff, and $105 a week for members of the Catonsville community. Those fees could rise slightly once the new center opens, Fuchs said.
The campus is located in the 800 block of S. Rolling Road.