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Breaking Ground on New Columbus Children’s Center

WNCSource Board Members (L-R) Shannon Perry, Donecia Santana, Ellen Steele, and Kelly Burgin break ground on the new 7,500 square foot Columbus Children's Center.

After torrential rains and flooding in 2020 forced the closure of our leased children’s center in Polk County, WNCSource searched tirelessly for a new location. Unable to find a suitable commercial property to host the childcare center, the agency decided to purchase a 2.6-acre parcel of land on the campus of Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.

Nearly three years later, after securing funding support from Federal, State and local community partners including the Town of Columbus, The Dogwood Health Trust, and the Cannon Foundation, WNCSource held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Columbus Children’s Center on March 10th, 2023.

The planned $2.54 million, 7,500 square foot Columbus Children’s Center will feature three classrooms; a motor skills lab that can expand into two additional classrooms; commercial kitchen; laundry room; conference room; office and storage space; and an Outdoor Learning Environment. The facility will provide Early Head Start (EHS) programs for up to 24 infants and toddlers (ages 6 weeks to 3 years). WNCSource is the only EHS provider in Polk County. The agency is working with Dunlap Construction and has projected opening the center in late Fall 2024.