Door Community Child Development Center breaks ground on new child care facility
STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Door Community Child Development Center opened its doors in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, after its executive director Alexis Fuller posted on Facebook her aspirations to start a nonprofit child care center.
Three years later, Fuller and her sister Bridget Starr, have worked together to bring a new child care facility to Door County.
On Friday afternoon, the Door Community Child Development Center held a groundbreaking for its new 18,500-square-foot sustainable facility off Gordon Road in Sturgeon Bay.
“Thank you all for standing with us on such a wonderful milestone for childcare in Door County,” Fuller said. “The best is yet to come”
The center applied for the Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development through the United Way of Door County. In December 2021, they were awarded $3 million from the grant.
In August 2022, they purchased over 50 acres on Gordon Road, and two months later, signed a building contract with Kellar Inc.
”Every aspect of this center was carefully decided upon for a purpose,” said Hope Herbst, Child Development Coordinator. “Every staff member’s thoughts, opinions, and years of experiences combine to create a center that will provide the best opportunities for the children of Door County. A place for all children to start.”
Currently, there are not many licensed childcare facilities within Door County, which makes it difficult to attract families to the area; however, with this new building, the Child Development Center would be able to expand its enrollment capacity by 45 percent.
Herbst said joining the center is joining a village where everyone helps one another raise their children.
“This organization is a place where parents can drop off their most prized possessions and know that they are in the best hands possible since they are unable to be in their own,” Herbst said,
Door County Board Supervisor Alexis Heim Peter said without the people at the child development center..young door county families would face the biggest challenge and economic impact.
“These women before you are innovators, public servants, and economic development drivers,” Heim Peter said. “The state and local investment to make this building possible is the first step to show support and welcome for the families of Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol that will one day fill those newly renovated school halls.”
Many child care centers were closing throughout the pandemic and child educators, like Herbst, were left wondering if they would continue their careers, and passion in the community they care so much about. She said Fuller and Starr came to bat for the community and thanked them for giving 28 child educators a second chance.
The new facility is set to be completed in December 2023 with a grand opening for January 2024.
To learn more about the Door Community Child Development Center and its new facility, click here.
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