The $760,000 project will more than triple the school’s capacity for students. From left to right: Emily Yearwood, Board Chair; Chris Parks, Building and Grounds Coordinator; Pete Neal, Contractor; Bethany Mahar, Executive Director; Dani Bateman, Assistant Director. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Ivy Thalheimer of Avon, with the shovel, and other students at Maine Mountain Children’s House helped break ground last week on the expansion and renovation of their school. SUBMITTED PHOTO

KINGFIELD — Maine Mountain Children’s House, a Kingfield-based non-profit childcare center, officially broke ground on a $760,000 renovation and expansion project last Friday, May 3. The project will more than double the center’s available slots for childcare, meeting the needs of the continually growing waitlist.

Established nearly 20 years ago, MMCH has continued to grow to meet the needs of working parents in the area; in 2018 MMCH shifted gears to make space for a toddler-aged classroom- a need that local parents identified through a survey conducted by the Board of Directors.

The current growth aims to triple the space available in the toddler classroom with the construction of a 1,000 square foot addition to the south side of the building. Additionally, $150,000 of funding will go toward the renovation and re-envisioning of the primary and kindergarten classroom. Plans include an added full length ramp at the entrance of the building for ADA compliance, updated boiler and HVAC systems for more energy efficiency, and much needed replacement of the roof, windows, and siding of the building.

The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2024 school year. Of the $760,000 budget, $250,000 was awarded through a vigorous federal ARPA grant process administered by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and the Childcare Infrastructure Grant. The grant was specifically made available to childcare centers looking to increase capacity by at least 50%.

“This is not a patch job. This is taking a really structurally sound building and a great location, with access to local trails, the park, library and the elementary school and making it into an ADA accessible, energy efficient, beautiful childcare center. It’s what we always dreamed this school to be and it’s finally happening,” Board Chair Emily Yearwood said.

For more information about Maine Mountain Children’s House, go to https://www.mainemountainchildrenshouse.org/ Follow them on Facebook for project updates.

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