Work begins on child care site, Whittier

Nov 13th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, November 13, 2008

An on-campus child care option is on the fast track toward completion.

Demolition in the north annex of the Whittier Building – home to the UNL Children’s Center at 22nd and W streets – started in October and construction of the new facility is to begin this month.

The $14.4 million project also includes a remodel of the Whittier Building and HVAC system.

“Our future home is now a gutted, black, empty rectangular shell,” said Tish Roland, director of child care for UNL. “But, we can see the potential. We are through the design phase, construction has started and we are on a fast track to be finished in July and open up in August.”

The UNL Children’s Center plan outlines three groupings (families) of three child care age groups. Each family will include one classroom each of infants, toddlers and preschool children. The different age groups in each of the three families will interact with each other. And, as children age, they will move into a corresponding classroom within their designated family area.

“As the children grow up, they will get to know the caregivers in all three rooms within the family area,” said Roland. “It will allow us to offer a continuity of care.”

The plan also calls for a classroom for school age children (5 to 8 years old), which will be used for half-time care during the regular school year and full-time care in the summer. Space has also been set aside for indoor play areas, restrooms (linked directly to individual classrooms), administrative offices, meeting rooms, a reception area and storage.

“Each classroom will have windows to let in natural light,” said Roland. “There will be lots of carpet. And the general feel will be like a home atmosphere. We do not want it to be institutional inside.”

On the outside, a fenced-in playground area will be developed to the west of the Whittier north annex. And, a parking lot/drop off area is planned for the east side of the facility.

The building will be accessible only by authorized NCard. The exterior renovations also include working with University Police to increase lighting around the building and playground.

The child care center was designed by RDG Planning and Design.

The UNL Children’s Center will replace the University Child care Center, which closed April 27, 2007.

Roland said the new facility would have enough square footage to care for a maximum of 199 children.

“Our goal is to have less than that,” said Roland. “An ideal amount would be 150 to 160 children. Right now, we have 120 people on the waiting list. We even have people calling ahead to reserve space for the summer of 2010.”

Child care costs have yet to be outlined for the facility.

Roland is providing regular updates to individuals on the waiting list. For more information, contact Roland at or 472-2101.

— Story Troy Fedderson, University Communications

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  1. Both of my kids went through the UCC’s programs when the center was located over at the YWCA building.

    They got a great start there; a kind staff, strong learning environment, supportive environment for socialization.

    My advice for anyone who has kids on the way: don’t wait; get on the waiting list for UCC.

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