It takes a village:
Petersburg rallies to support Children’s Center expansion
The Petersburg Children’s Center (PCC) is one step closer to adding an additional classroom, and capacity for a dozen more students, after a variance was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this week.
The proposed expansion includes a 20 foot addition to the building, which will expand an existing classroom and house a new one for toddlers and pre-schoolers, as well as a ramp extension and separate entrance for the room. PCC Director Brandi Heppe said that more space is needed to be able to accept some of the more than 40 children on the facility’s waiting list.
“I’m excited to hopefully get more child care for people in this community,” Heppe said. So are others in the Borough who are helping to raise funds for the project, including Glo Wollen who wrote a letter to community members last month detailing the situation.
Wollen said that she first heard about the expansion at an assembly meeting when PCC staff asked for a higher placement on the Borough’s capital improvement list this winter. Learning that there were over 40 kids on the waiting list who could be attending the center upon its expansion motivated Wollen to approach the Petersburg Economic Development Council to donate seed funding.
“I thought to myself, what a wonderful problem to have, too many children and too many locals seeking employment,” Wollen said. “The PEDC board eagerly supported the idea and donated $10,000 towards the project,” she said in the letter. Other donors have since added to the pot, which is currently at $47,425, or about half of the needed funding.
While some are donating dollars directly, others in town have agreed to volunteer to help with the construction. Assembly members Kurt Wohlhueter and Bob Lynn collectively organized a materials list that was put out to local businesses for quotes. That led to generous offers by Hammer and Wikan Hardware, Bear Electric and Reid Brothers Construction to offer their services as a donation and materials to be sold at cost.
The collective efforts of individuals and businesses in the community are moving the project along, and Wollen said she hopes the project will be ready to break ground by the fall.
Individuals interested in donating to the project can do so directly at Wells Fargo or can send a check made out to the Petersburg Children’s Center Building Fund to PO Box 1076. The PCC is a non-profit organization that has been in operation for 40 years, caring for children ages six weeks to five years old.