Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Stewart open house set for Sunday

Sep 18, 2017

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL

A ribbon cutting and open house will be held for the Early Childhood Center additon at Stewart Elementary School this Sunday.

The ribbon cutting will be at 4 p.m. with WOWIE (Women of Washington Iowa Endowment) members, Chamber Ambassadors and Washington Community District personnel, and from 4 to 6 p.m. the public is invited to tour the center.

WOWIE members and Stewart Elementary principal Adam Miller decided to have the event on a Sunday because during the week children are in the child care center until 6 p.m.

“We wanted people to be able to go through and see everything,” Miller said. “It’s open to anybody who wants to come and see [the addition] and there’s so many people that have supported it that we’re hopeful that a lot of them are able to come check it out and see all the progress that has been made because it’s a really beautiful facility.”

“We didn’t want them to see it in the dark,” WOWIE board member Karen Gorham said, “and this will be bright and cheery.”

This addition to Stewart Elementary was made possible by a $925,000 donation to the school district from WOWIE, formerly known as Young Women’s Christian Association, for the Cornelia Day Childcare Center to be built there, according to a press release from the WOWIE board. A $2.3 million general obligation bond was passed in 2015 by voters in the school district for the preschool addition.

Several people have told Miller and Gorham how much they appreciate the preschool and child care center being together.

“We were putting up some plaques in the entrance [for] the day care,” Gorham said, “and this woman went by and evidently Shalon [Hoyle, Cornelia Day Childcare Center director] told her, ‘well, those are the people who donated the money,’ and she came out and went on and on.”

The woman lives near Mount Pleasant and told WOWIE members there wasn’t anything like this down there, Gorham added.

“That’s a prime example right there,” Miller said. “It’s very convenient for a lot of our working families. We’ve had a lot of good feedback on the facility and what it can offer.”

Parents can drop off their students at the parking lot on the south side of the school and walk their other children over to the preschool or child care.

“We were standing there and thought, ‘that would be nice for people to go through there,’” Miller said.

Besides the sidewalk connecting the two parking lots, a sidewalk was also added to go the whole length of the pickup lane, Miller added.

“We were noticing some kids walking up actually using the pickup lane because the sidewalk didn’t go all the way,” he added.

WOWIE also donated money for the new preschool playground and classroom materials for the child care center using funds from the Charles Wiley Trust.

The playground isn’t quite ready for use yet.

“All that is left is for the grass to grow,” Miller said. “We planted grass seeds out there, but it hasn’t rained since.”

Both Miller and Gorham said working together on this project has been great and are glad it was able to happen.

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