Ithaca College will be providing space for the Coddington Road Community Center to house a portion of its childcare operations on campus while the center undergoes a major expansion project. Pending approvals from the Town of Ithaca Planning Board and New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the childcare services will be located in the large meeting space in the College Circle Apartments Community Building.
A preschool group and the afterschool program will be housed in the Community Building for the duration of the project, which is expected to begin in July of 2023 and take about two years. That will bring some 42 children ages 3 to 12 to campus from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be no disruption to regular campus operations, and IC students will continue to have access to the Community Building at all times.
“This is the embodiment of our Ithaca Forever strategic plan goal of developing cross-sector and community partnerships that address challenging issues, optimize resources, and serve the public good,” said Ithaca College President La Jerne Terry Cornish. “The demand for childcare in the Ithaca area far outstrips the number of available spaces, and we are delighted to help provide much-needed opportunities for families—including Ithaca College families—who might otherwise not have access to such care while construction is taking place. Additionally, we look forward to exploring opportunities for this to provide new academic experiences for our students.”
Heather Mount, Executive Director of the Coddington Road Community Center, explained that while some of the daycare classrooms will remain in their current spaces during the construction project, the annex building that houses those that are moving to IC will be removed from the property prior to breaking ground on the new space.
“This collaboration will not only allow us to continue operations in a safe manner, but it will also offer possibilities for multi-generational learning experiences,” Mount noted. “We are grateful that our neighbors at Ithaca College have stepped up to assist us as we embark on this project to expand the local childcare capacity.”
Since Ithaca College does not otherwise have an on-campus childcare facility, this time-limited experience will also provide useful information should the college consider establishing such a facility in the future.