Child Care Center Celebrates Grant and Groundbreaking
Date: April 3, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News
It may have been a rainy morning, but the sun came out just in time to shine down on a very special day for the UC Child Care Center, Inc. Tuesday, April 3. The center was awarded a $250,000 gift from Fifth Third Bank, the largest outside grant ever to support UC Child Care Center, Inc.
The giant check was delivered to six little children in bright yellow hardhats...attendees of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Center on Ruther Avenue. They were wearing hard hats because the center is now a construction site. Administrators from the center, the University of Cincinnati and Fifth Third Bank held a groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion that will nearly double the size of the center.
The grant from Fifth Third's Jacob Schmidlapp Foundation was presented by George Schaefer, Jr., president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, and Lawra Baumann, vice president of the Foundation Office of Fifth Third Bank. The foundation is named in memory of the founder of Fifth Third Bank.
"If my great, great grandfather, Jacob G. Schmidlapp were here, he would approve of this important project to benefit children from our community," said emcee Larry Pauly, a UC alumni and chair of the development committee, UC Child Care Center, Inc. Board of Trustees. "His belief that everyone deserved a chance at success makes it all the more appropriate for the university he cared so much about to be supporting this new construction."
The expansion will provide a new classroom building with an additional infant suite, toddler areas and two areas for preschool children. There will also be a muscle/motor activity room ? an open, indoor space for children to run, jump and climb. Furthermore, the renovation will bring a new kitchen, conference area and additional office space.
The ATA Architects expansion project will provide room for 150 children, aged three months to eight years old. The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Center currently serves 86 children. Total cost of the project completion is $3 million.
Sally Wehby, executive director of UC Child Care Center, called the Center a "model to the community in architecture and programming." She also pointed out research that suggests that students who are parents are more likely to remain in school and graduate more quickly if they have access to reliable child. They're also more likely to earn a higher grade point average.
"The relationship with the trust dates back farther than the building project. It was one of the first to recognize that young mothers needed a college education to become successful, and saw that was only possible if they had access to quality, affordable child care." With that in mind, the university provides support for the center in return for reduced child care tuition for student parents and UC employees.
After the groundbreaking, a separate ceremony was held at the African American Cultural and Research Center, as the "Friend of Campus Child Care Award" was presented to UC President Joseph A. Steger. UC Child Care Center, Inc., presents the annual award to a person or organization supportive of the center's mission.
"Throughout his tenure, he has only been supportive of this mission, and I might say we would not be as successful today were it not for the support of Dr. Steger," said Frank H. Bowen, president, UC Child Care Center, Inc. Board of Trustees.
"We want to thank him for recognizing the littlest members of the UC community and for keeping child care alive at the University of Cincinnati," said Wehby.
The Center started out as a part-time program back in 1985, serving 29 children at a location in a church basement.