By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — The extended care program of Lourdes Catholic School has been relocated and expanded this academic year. The school has leased space across the street for the program.
Jennifer Alongi, Lourdes’ principal, said a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes purchased a property that had been vacant for about two years. The school is leasing the eastern portion of the building, which is being remodeled. The Lourdes Little Lancer Care extended care program is for 3- and 4-year-old half-day preschool students. Previously the program was housed a half-block away from the school.
The extended care program now follows rules under the Department of Human Services (DHS) as a child care facility, which resulted in the school seeking to relocate. The new space also allows room for more students in the program.
“We knew that with Iowa’s DHS requirement becoming law in May we would need to move from the LLL House. This office building had been vacant and for sale for about two years. While we could not purchase the building due to cost and the quick turnaround time of wanting a new facility by the end of August, we sought to lease the eastern third of the building,” Alongi said. “At the same time, a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes put in an offer on the property, and the owner accepted it. The parishioner agreed to lease the eastern third of the building to Lourdes Catholic School. Upon closing of the sale on July 7, remodeling of the eastern third began and was completed by mid-August.”
Alongi said the new site has more square footage and the floor plan is “more conducive to child observation, social play and supervision.”
Extended care is available only to students enrolled at Lourdes. Previously if the program had 27 students at one time some students had to be moved to another room at the school. “With the new facility, this will not be necessary as we will be able to accommodate a larger number of students at any given time.”
So far, 55 preschool families have signed up for Little Lancer Care for 2015-16. There are 116 preschoolers signed up for the 3- and 4-year-old programs. There is a waiting list.
Alongi said a number of volunteers have worked hard on site and behind the scenes to make the move possible. “We are blessed to have many generous parishioners and school families giving of their time, talent and treasure.”