Child Start to open Head Start center in European Car Co. space

WICHITA — Late last year, Have You Heard? reported that European Car Co. owner David Leivian is leaving his almost 10,000-square-foot building at 1510 E. Second St.

At the time, he couldn’t say what would be moving into the space.

It’s Child Start, which will lease the building.

Jeff Englert, Scott Salome and Grant Glasgow with Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Leivian hasn’t announced where he’s moving yet.

Almost $2.5 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are helping Child Start expand.

“We’re going to use this building for the very first of our Head Start centers that serve children zero up to five,” says Child Start executive director Teresa Rupp.

Currently, there are centers for preschoolers and other centers for infants and toddlers.

Rupp says it makes it a lot easier for parents who have more than one child to have children in the same place.

“It just made sense to do it,” Rupp says. “When this Recovery Act money came along, we said, ‘Oh, here’s our chance.’ ”

Child Start serves low-income children in a variety of ways, such as providing physical and social skills and offering nutrition and immunizations.

“The grant is allowing us to serve additional children,” Rupp says. “We absolutely couldn’t have done that.”

She hopes to open more centers in the future.

Rupp says the Second Street space, which Conco Construction should be through remodeling by June, is ideal for several reasons.

“We like the fact that it’s visible,” she says. “It’ll be easy for parents to find. It’s on a major through street.”

Also, she says, “It has lots of space and lots of light.”

And, as a bonus, Rupp says, there’s a huge tree in the back that will provide great shade for a playground.