Guilford breaks ground for day care

Saturday, November 22, 2008 6:25 AM EST
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

GUILFORD — After years of planning, local politicians and officials from the Guilford Center for Children donned hard hats Friday for the ceremonial groundbreaking on the group’s new day care facility.

The Center for Children plans to move its day care from Park Street to the town-owned Rollwood Park, across from the Henry Whitfield State Museum on Stone House Lane.

The move will allow the day care — which usually has a waiting list of between 60 to 80 children, according to officials — to roughly double its capacity, to 60 students from 30.

The group’s architectural plans call for a design that would combine two old barns on the property. Rollwood Park was the site of former Gov. Rollin S. Woodruff’s “gentleman’s farm” and summer home. The town bought the nine acres in 2003 for more than $800,000.

Gary Melillo, vice president of the Center for Children’s board, shed a few tears at the groundbreaking ceremony, which he called a “momentous occasion.”

“This is an emotional moment for me,” Melillo said. “It’s taken us what seems like forever to accomplish.”

Dawn Ross, the board’s president, thanked past and current members of the Board of Selectmen and state Sen. Edward Meyer, D-12, and state Reps. Patricia Widlitz, D-98, and Deborah Heinrich, D-101, who picked up golden shovels for the groundbreaking.

Ross said the center has been looking for a larger location since 1999, “when we realized that our waiting list continued to grow and grow.”

“We felt a responsibility to provide safe and nurturing child care to the growing number of families in need,” Ross said. “We are grateful to all of you for trusting in the quality of our program and ensuring that even more of Guilford’s children will enjoy the benefit of an enriching preschool.”

Many of the day care’s staff members and other supporters were also in attendance Friday.

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