The Cullman Child Development Center in Sidney is ready to grow.
According to Cullman manager Amy Williams, the center purchased the former Chuck Wagon restaurant at 115 River St. in Sidney for $ 225,000 in November 2020. The new space, Williams said, will accommodate registrants and students of the Sidney Central School District. universal pre-K cost program.
In a May statement on the district’s website, Sidney School Principal Eben Bullock said, “Sidney CSD is delighted to partner with the Cullman Center to be able to offer a one-day UPK program. and half a day for our youngest learners. We look forward to expanding our community partnership with the Cullman Center. “
“We have partnered with the schools in Sidney and resumed their UPK programs,” said Williams. “We’re going to put the whole UPK program there. The enrollment rate (UPK) hasn’t been too high so far so we can put another age group in there but at this point definitely UPK so all 4 year olds.
Williams said the Cullman Center, established in 1991 at 90 West Road, has long been in need of expansion. Cullman offers babysitting services from six weeks to 12 years old.
“Before the pandemic, we were at full capacity at the center,” Williams said, noting the capacity is 106 children. “It’s a good size center, but we were just getting a lot of people who wanted places and we didn’t have any, so we started to think about our options and looked at the cost of adding or doing something. something different in the space we have, but even before the high construction costs it was so expensive.
“We walked away from that plan and realized that the perfect thing is around the corner and has been all the time,” Williams continued. “So we reached out and ended up buying the Chuck Wagon during the pandemic.”
Williams said she and Cullman officials worked for months to reshape the space.
“We ended up buying the whole thing as is, with all the restaurant equipment, but it’s a big building,” she said. “ACCO (Brands) owned it before, and when they owned it, we used it for a summer camp, so we’ve been there before. We renovated it into a daycare, sold all the restaurant equipment, but kept enough to have a commercial kitchen and added three classrooms. It’s good. It has a full basement and solves all of our needs so it worked perfectly.
The expansion, Williams said, will create 54 listing locations and “likely a few” new hires.
“It definitely helps with our space issues,” she said. “The timing is good. With COVID, we had to bring in quite a few people because there were a lot of childcare requirements; each room was supposed to be staffed from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but now it’s back to where you can combine staff. It would have meant that we had to let someone go, but it went well, because now we’re going to need more people, so hopefully everything goes well.
The entrants at the center, Williams said, represent the tri-city region and beyond.
“It’s a lot of people who work in Sidney, with the bigger factories (such as) Amphenol, or people who just drive by – families who live in Oneonta but work in Binghamton – and we’re at the point. halfway perfect, ”she said. .
While Williams has said that a groundbreaking event at the new site will likely be “aligned with the school year,” interested parents and caregivers can visit the space during Big Rig Day, Saturday August 7 at the center. .
For more information, call 607-563-7529 or visit cullmancenter.org.