Tom Hadler, project manager for Southeast Missouri State University, opened by providing council members with a "progress update" on the SAHEC expansion.
"We're in the final stages of schematic design," Hadler said. The project should go out for bid in the spring and has a completion date of December 2005. "We're still on target for that."
Under a new plan approved by the SAHEC Advisory Board, the exterior dimensions for the 10,900-square-foot expansion remain the same. Hadler said changes were made on the first floor to the expansion's child development-daycare layout to enhance the usage of space and to provide better security; and to provide more room for the area in the technical-laboratory classroom.
"We're just making it a little more efficient," he said. Hadler said underutilized space in the original facility will also be reconfigured for better usage.
The expansion's second floor remains the same with two large and two medium classrooms.
Greg Brown, project manager for the Wm. B. Ittner architectural firm, said corridors were moved around to make the child care facilities a "secure area" separate from the rest of SAHEC.
"It's much more secure," agreed Judy Buck, executive director for SAHEC. "They will have their own play area, their own equipment."
Future expansions, if needed, will be added on the west side of the building rather than continuing to the north and resulting in a "train-like" configuration.
Buck said adding child care facilities to SAHEC was a main selling point when convincing voters to approve the one-cent general sales tax in February. Surplus funds from the original quarter-cent SAHEC sales tax which ended Sept. 30 and financed the original construction will also go to fund the project in addition to money from the new sales tax.
The child care facilities will serve a dual purpose, according to Buck: providing daycare services for students and the community and creating a teaching environment for SAHEC students. "We have students who want to be child care providers," she said. The daycare will have both certified staff and students in training.
Buck said current students pretty much already have child care issues resolved, but this should "give more people an opportunity to come to class." She said two-thirds of the student body at SAHEC are female.
Fees for the daycare "will be competitive," Buck said. She said employees at the Good Humor-Breyers plant are already asking about the daycare. "It will be open to the public," she confirmed.
Hadler said it will be "first come, first served" at the daycare and should be similar to what is on campus at SEMO which his preschool daughter has attended. He said his daughter has found the daycare there to be a "very positive" experience.
Mayor Mike Marshall said adding the daycare center will make the Industrial Park even more attractive to prospective industries and businesses.
Brown said the expansion may add 127 or even 183 parking spaces "just depending on where the market is."