Child Start to open West Village Head Start near West Street and Zoo Boulevard this fall

WICHITA — Child Start is opening a new center on the west side. This makes the third new facility in as many years for the nonprofit, which provides early childhood development services.

“We need to be where the children are to serve them,” says executive director Teresa Rupp. “We haven’t been on the west side for, oh, a long time.”

The new center, which will be called West Village Head Start, will open this fall in 9,900 square feet at 1024 N. West St. near West Street and Zoo Boulevard.

With the help of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group, Child Start did a study to analyze existing locations, concentration of income-eligible families and enrollment patterns.

“Once we did that study, there was obviously a need for another location to serve their clientele in the central west area, and this filled that void,” says Jeff Englert, who is with Martens.

He and colleagues Kris Wessel and Nathan Farha handled the deal for the new space. It will include seven preschool classrooms and land for a playground. West Village will serve 183 children.

Conco Construction is the contractor and WDM Architects is the architect.

The new center follows the opening of Child Start’s Fingerprints center at 2020 N. Oliver last summer and the 2nd Street Head Start site at 1510 E. Second St. in summer 2010.

“I can hardly believe it,” Rupp says. “I look at the last three years and say who would have dreamed we’d open three centers in three years? It’s a lot of work.”

She thinks that will be it for a while.

“Never say never,” Rupp says. “Something could happen.

“If we had our druthers, we might … take a year off to rest and figure out what we’ve learned – and what we should have learned.”