OC ready for $4.5 million child-care center

Children in Olympic College’s daycare program help staff and other local officials break ground on the college’s proposed Sophia Bremer Child Development Center Oct. 22. - Steven DeDual/staff photo
Children in Olympic College’s daycare program help staff and other local officials break ground on the college’s proposed Sophia Bremer Child Development Center Oct. 22.
— image credit: Steven DeDual/staff photo

The Sophia Bremer Child Devel-opment Center is the latest facility Olympic College has under development and the $4.5 million project could be done by the start of the school’s winter quarter in 2011.

“I am thrilled with the opening of the new SBCDC and grateful that the Bremer Trust has found a way to include the Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program in the new building,” said Gayle Dilling, Early Childhood faculty and coordinator. “This is an important step in the professional development training of our ECE students and I commend the college on the support around the critical early years of development and learning.”

On Oct. 22, OC and the Bremer Trust, which supports OC programs and services and was formed from the estates of John and Edward Bremer, celebrated the groundbreaking of the new SBCDC outside the Bremer Student Center on the Bremerton campus.

The Trust, which has given more than $5 million to OC since its inception in 1987 through student scholarships and advancement of faculty skills and expertise, donated $2 million as seed money for the project in 2008 and gave another $500,000 to add on a wing for the ECE program in September.

In addition to funds donated by the Bremer Trust, $2 million also was provided from the state of Washington through its matching grant program and OC also allocated an additional $500,000.

The new childcare center will accommodate approximately 190 children, will be located adjacent to the north end of the Health Occupations building, will take up 16,500-square feet and will include 10 offices, eight classrooms, a kitchen and two work areas. Also, a new playground will be built next to the existing playground, which will double the total size of the existing play area.

The SBCDC will relocate all of the child development programs from the Health Occupations Building, including Early Head Start, Head Start, Child Development and Family Center, ECE and Parent Education, and consolidate them into one building.

“The director of the center, Rhodes Lockwood, and myself as coordinator of the ECE program have worked closely together the past four years to build a happy marriage between the center and the students studying the field of Child Development and Early Learning,” Dilling said. “For our program to be included in the new center is like the culinary students working in the kitchen, or the automotive students working on cars — we will be able to observe the highest quality early learning environment possible. We are very excited to be together in one place along with the Early Head Start program and the expansion of an already stellar program.”

The center is designed to meet the growing demand for childcare and Early Childhood Education at the college. The architectural planning is being done by Rice Fergus Miller Architecture & Planning and Serpanok Construction is the contractor charged with making the vision a reality.

The facility is named after Sophia Bremer, one of Bremerton’s pioneer founders, in honor of the generous ongoing support from the Bremer Trust.

“We can’t wait to share the new space with the community,” Dilling said.

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