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Sunday, April 20, 2014

New child care facility coming to Goshen

Proposed facility outlined at Board of Zoning Appeals.

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — A new child care facility in Goshen could be under construction as soon as this summer.

Valparaiso-based Growing Kids Learning Centers arrived at the Goshen Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Tuesday afternoon requesting several developmental variances for its proposed 14,940 square-foot facility.

Growing Kids, which currently operates five other child care centers throughout the area, including one in Elkhart, is hoping to break ground on the sites at 3202 and 3212 Elkhart Road, just north of Peddlers Village Road.

“If all goes well, we’d like to start late this summer,” Growing Kids president Michael Garatoni said. “We would anticipate (opening) sometime early summer of ’14.”

Growing Kids centers provide “educational content” and are open weekdays year-round, with operating hours from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Garatoni added that hours are generally flexible for parents whose children may need earlier or later care.

Garatoni said construction costs for the project will likely run between $2 million to $2.5 million.

Besides the child care facility itself, the construction plan also includes a 22,350 square-foot outdoor play area to the immediate southwest of the building and a 48-space parking lot to the northeast.

The center will be licensed to handle 248 children and 30 employees. Growing Kids offers care for children 6 months old through after-school care.

The facility will charge an annual registration fee as well as weekly tuition. Though Garatoni could not state what those costs would be, he did say tuition varies by age and that “we’re going to be close to what the market is here in Goshen.”

When questions arose from the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding traffic flow to and from the facility off of Elkhart Road, or U.S. 33, Garatoni explained the business is negotiating with property owners to the south about constructing a private access easement that would extend to Peddlers Village Road, or C.R. 28.

With peak hours of drop-off and pick-up occurring during the heaviest-traveled periods of the day, Garatoni said they would like to provide clients with an alternative route other than U.S. 33.

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