When I arrived at 89 Grove Way in Roswell in November 2005, I had just become the Executive Director of the Child Development Association and landlord of its 33,000 square foot facility. The 30-year old building was ugly, hemorrhaging utilities, pest-infested and in generally deplorable condition. Fortunately, I had already attended my first meeting with the IFMA Community Service Committee, so I knew that I did not have to tackle these challenges alone. I knew that an entire cadre of experienced, knowledgeable, facility professionals were committed to the successful modernization of our building.
In fact, the IFMA Community Service Committee had already conducted a comprehensive analysis of the building’s needs and prepared a detailed assessment that would guide the needed improvements over the next several years. Under IFMA’s guidance this process had begun– a new state-of-the-art roof had been installed earlier in the year and the HVAC system was under contract for renovation.
Since 2005 we have accomplished a great deal thanks to many hours of IFMA professional expertise and many generous inkind contributions:
- replacement of the entire roof was our first significant conservation undertaking
- total overhaul of our HVAC system improved the comfort of children and staff while reducing energy consumption
- replacement of lighting fixtures brightened every classroom and office
- painting of our main floor lobby and hallway totally changed the first impression we make on visitors
- refurbishing our childcare administrative offices enhanced our appearance and created more functional work spaces
- new carpeting for our toddler classroom
- new ceiling tile throughout the building helped banish the slum shabby look
- lowering the ceiling was essential to remodeling our conference room which serves not only the CDA but the broader community as well
- upgrading of all toilets to dual-flush and sensor flush valve models
- successful recovery from an accidental flood that swamped our entire lower level and took three classrooms out of service
- accurate CAD drawings of the entire facility
- new generator
- new hot water heater
- numerous painting and landscaping volunteer days to keep us functional and attractive
- ongoing training and mentoring of our maintenance man
- selection of the architect and contractor for our exterior renovation
Now, four years later, 89 Grove Way is wrapped in blue plastic as construction crews work to create an entirely new exterior shell with insulated walls, energy-efficient windows and doors, and even new architectural features to give the building a fresh, modern look. We could never have embarked on this exterior revitalization without the IFMA Community Services Committee behind us.
It is impossible to name all the IFMA individuals and businesses who have invested their time, talent and resources in the Child Development Association. But two must be mentioned. Clara Smith, CMS Enterprises, and Steve Soteres, Choate Construction, serve as Trustees of the CDA and on our Building Committee. They are our IFMA ‘lifeline’ whenever we face a facility challenge. Even now Clara is managing the design, construction and installation of the signage that will crown the new exterior.
Clara, Steve and the entire IFMA Community Services Committee have been unstinting in their support of the CDA. The projects we have tackled together are demanding, complicated undertakings. IFMA’s partnership has significantly enhanced project outcomes and their generous in-kind contributions of real goods and services have enabled us to dramatically stretch our resources.
Our mission is to enable the young children of low-income families to make a great start toward a bright future by providing a nationally accredited preschool program focused on early literacy and school readiness. IFMA should be very proud of its role in shaping the futures of our young children and their families by supporting our mission to provide affordable childcare and early learning education programs.
by Donna Smythe