Child center at FLC gets $1.5
December 22, 2001
By Jennifer Reeder
Special to the Herald
The U.S. Senate approved a spending bill
Friday that includes $1.5 million for a new building at the
Child Development Center at Fort Lewis College.
The $11 billion bill now heads to President
Bush, who is expected to sign it, said a spokesman for Sen.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo.
"Needless to say, we’re ecstatic about it,"
Fort Lewis President Kendall Blanchard said.
"This facility is going to be wonderful
because of its comprehensive nature," Blanchard said. "On one
hand, it will provide child care for people who may not be
able to afford it. On the other hand, it provides intern and
research possibilities for students in Early Childhood
Campbell requested the $1.5 million. The
funds are included in an appropriations bill for the Labor,
Health and Human Services, and Education departments and
related agencies for fiscal 2002, which began Oct. 1. The bill
passed 90-7 in one of Congress’ final votes before a holiday
The money will go toward a new multipurpose
building to serve families and children ages 1 to 5, said
Cheryl Clay, an associate professor in the teacher education
department at FLC and faculty liaison to the center. The
center now accepts 2½- to 5-year-olds.
The building also will provide an observation
site for students in psychology, sociology, exercise science
and teacher education, and training for people who work in
early childhood care and education, Clay said.
The building will consist of two classrooms
for college students, one of which will have a one-way mirror
for parents to observe their children. The building will
include state-of-the-art technology, including audio and video
capability, Clay said.
The center is open to the children of
students, faculty members and area residents. Children with
disabilities are integrated into the classrooms, Clay
"I’m thrilled, predictably," Clay said. "This
facility will be a clear demonstration of the commitment of
FLC to the early education of children and to the training of
teachers to work with children. It will have long-lasting
impacts on our community."
With the new building, the center will be
able to double the number of children it supervises to 60,
from 30, Clay said.
Bob Dolphin, vice president of business and
finance at FLC, applauded Clay’s fund-raising efforts, which
included raising about $500,000 from individuals and
The school also received a Community
Development Block Grant for about $250,000, Dolphin said.
Dolphin said the $1.5 million is the last
component of funding for the current phase of the center
"Without Senator Campbell’s help, we wouldn’t
have been able to accept the grant and would have had to
return the donations," Dolphin said.
The center is in the first phase of the
project, which involves spending roughly $2 million to
construct the new building, connect it to the existing
adjacent center and give the existing center modest
In the second phase, several years away,
another new section will be added to the new center, and the
old center will be torn down.
Dolphin said construction could begin in nine
to 12 months.
Blanchard said, "We’re extremely grateful to
the senator and his wife for their help."
Campbell and his wife, Linda, are former teachers. Mrs.
Campbell retired last year as a teacher in Ignacio, Campbell’s