BURLINGTON, Ky. — More classrooms, better technology and upgraded recreational space will be part of a top-to-bottom renovation of the Boone County Head Start facility in Burlington.
The expansion can move forward now that Boone County finalized the sale of the building and land to the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission. The transaction paved the way for construction to begin on the project, according to Catrena Bowman-Thomas, executive director of the NKYCAC.
"We'll be increasing our capacity by up to 40 additional children between the ages of zero and 5," Bowman-Thomas said. Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs administered in local communities to create access to educational tools that prepare preschoolers from low income families for kindergarten.
"We know that if children do not start kindergarten on grade level, statistics have shown that they will be left behind. And that means there are fewer chances for them to graduate, and fewer chances for them to go on to post-secondary education," she said.
The agency is using disaster relief funding from the Office of Head Start to complete the project by late 2022. Plans call for completely renovating the building on Maplewood Drive in Burlington, adding two Early Head Start classrooms, transforming four Head Start classrooms and adding an apartment for families in transition.
"It's so needed right now because when we think about COVID, so many families have been just impacted by COVID and trying to recover," Bowman-Thomas said.
Additional improvements will include upgrading the gym for students and community members and updating the technology. Meanwhile, there is a second Head Start location in Newport that will be upgrading its kitchen and available technology. Bowman-Thomas said nutrition and education are elements that help support families.