New facility for kids of Oak Park

Ground broken for new child development center in Sacramento County

by Sydney Fong –

Community dignitaries, Salvation Army personnel and children from the daycare program participate in the groundbreaking. [Photo by Sydney Fong]

The Salvation Army of Sacramento County (Calif.) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new child development center in the Oak Park area on Sept. 21, 2010. The new facility will be two stories high and nearly 14,000 sq. ft.—about six times larger than the old education building. The center will house The Salvation Army’s daycare and after-school programs.

“This is a momentous day for Sacramento,” Major Douglas Riley, Del Oro divisional commander, said. “One of our primary focuses is on youth and we know this new building will do wonders to make a positive impact in their lives.”

The facility will replace an old 2,400 sq. ft. modular building that housed the daycare program for the past 24 years. The Salvation Army relocated the program from downtown Sacramento to the current Oak Park site in 1986.

“The old daycare had only two classrooms,” said Riley. “The new building will have eight [classrooms]. We’ll have a full kitchen, a new playground and rooms for Sunday school. This will open up the opportunity to better serve and reach more people in our area.”

For the last three years, The Salvation Army has conducted a capital campaign to raise funds for various projects, including the child development center.

“This day is like a dream come true,” said John Frisch, Salvation Army advisory board member and chairman of the capital campaign. “After all the work, all the giving by so many people, all of hours planning and soliciting, to see it finally happening is almost a spiritual experience.”

Frisch said the capital campaign has raised over $5 million—more than enough to start construction.

Currently, the daycare and after-school programs operate within The Salvation Army community center.

“There is a lot we can do with the new building,” Major Tedd Lowcock, Sacramento County coordinator, said. “If all goes well, down the road we may be able to add more kids to our programs.”

The construction is scheduled to last for at least the next six months.

“When this building opens,” Frisch said, “it’s going to make me happy. The kids are so adorable and so innocent, and we hope we can make a positive impact on their future.”

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