With implementation of the new 2013 DCYF licensing regulations, Stork’s Nest faced a challenge with classrooms that had no direct access to natural light. This meant they faced the potential closing of at least two classrooms and the subsequent loss of enrollment. The center was placed on a licensing variance while they worked on a plan. LISC, in collaboration with DCYF, offered technical support to help Stork’s Nest look at a variety of options to address these space challenges. Fortunately, there was a largely unused space on the second floor of the building. We helped Stork’s Nest think through a plan to relocate some infant classrooms into current preschool spaces and to move two preschool classrooms to this second floor space. With a planning grant from LISC, Stork’s Nest worked with a professional to design a plan that converted the upstairs space into classrooms that have wonderful natural light, adjacent bathrooms and plenty of space to not only maintain, but actually somewhat expand upon their original enrollment. Using these well thought out plans, Stork’s Nest applied for and was awarded a facility grant to help with the construction costs. Once construction was complete and the classrooms were moved, the now empty spaces were converted to become an indoor gross motor area. And a great added bonus…now that Stork’s Nest is no longer operating with a licensing variance they are able to apply to BrightStars for an increase in their star rating! Congratulations to Stork’s Nest for taking the many bold steps that were needed to address their physical space issues and to create a space that works for regulations as well as for the program, the children and the families in their community.
Construction – Former Gross Motor