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Colgate announces investment to expand Chenango Nursery School

By Barbara Brooks on February 6, 2013
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The Colgate-funded expansion of CNS will result in 16 to 20 new slots for infants and children.

To meet the growing need for high-quality child care in the village of Hamilton, Colgate and Chenango Nursery School (CNS) plan to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership.

Under the agreement, approved Feb. 2 by the Colgate Board of Trustees, the university will purchase the property at 59 W. Kendrick that is presently owned and operated by CNS. It will invest substantially to upgrade and expand the facility, and then lease the improved property back to CNS.

CNS, a trusted non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, will continue to be solely responsible for its operation of child-care services for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.

“This is an investment in Hamilton’s future,” said Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst. “We anticipate a need to support the likely influx of younger families to the area. If they find day-care solutions in Hamilton, they will be much more likely to settle in Hamilton, which is good for the entire community.”

Currently CNS’s enrollment is 113 infants and children. Though there are typically about a dozen on the waiting list, that number swelled to 27 during 2011–2012, underscoring the need to expand capacity so that the number of community children cared for by CNS can be increased. The expansion will open an additional 16 to 20 slots.

The sale is expected to close in March. The capital improvements — which will increase the space by 35 percent and include two new classrooms, a multipurpose room, an expanded kitchen and playground, and importantly, a new infant room that will double to 16 the center’s licensing capacity for infants — will begin shortly thereafter.

Longtime CNS director Denise Dinski is pleased with the agreement. “We have a wonderful relationship with Colgate to build upon, and as a result our facility will be much improved, more accessible, and even safer. But organizationally, nothing will change: we remain committed to the early education of our most precious children.”

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