Historic Day Nursery Restoration Project

Early Connections : Colorado Springs

Roof Restoration Child Nursery Centers

Colorado Springs, Colorado – December 23, 2008…A press briefing regarding the installation of a one-half-million-dollar slate roof on the Historic Day Nursery located at 104 E. Rio Grande St. will be held Monday, January 12 from 9:00-9:30 a.m. in the dining hall. Project managers representing this historic preservation project will provide specifics and answer questions followed by a short tour of the building. R.S.V.P’s are kindly requested by calling or emailing Mary Beth Burichin at the contact information above.

The Historic Day Nursery is owned and operated by the non-profit Child Nursery Centers (CNC). The 18,000-square-foot roof project was awarded to Weathercraft Company of Colorado Springs. The company will use copper nails to install 32,000 pieces of handcarved Vermont slate tiles to the roof that was originally covered with when the building was completed in 1924. According to Weathercraft Owner John Fleming and Project Manager Matthew Kelly, the new roof should last well over 100 years because of the organic nature and durability of slate.

An initial $200,000 grant from the State Historical Fund launched CNC’s “Raising the Roof for Future Generations” campaign that began in early 2007. Another $291,000 was generously contributed by the El Pomar Foundation; High Valley Group, H. Chase Stone Trust, Boettcher Foundation for Early Learning Capital Fund administered by Qualistar Early Learning, Johnson Foundation, Giddings Foundation and individual donors. An additional $33,000 is being sought by CNC to meet its final commitment.

CNC’s long-standing, uninterrupted history of providing high quality, comprehensive early care and education began in 1897 when fourteen visionary women formed the Colorado Springs Day Nursery Association to care for children of working women. As enrollment increased, the Association outgrew several facilities. In 1921 one of the Association’s founders, and a great philanthropist of the city, Mrs. Alice Bemis Taylor announced she would provide a permanent structure for the children in honor of her mother, Alice Cogswell Bemis.

With a legacy of $160,000 from her mother, Mrs. Taylor purchased the land at Rio Grande and Tejon Streets. She hired Architect William White Stickney of Pueblo and Englishman John Gray to design a building of great beauty for children. Master Builder and Contractor R.E. Alderson of C.S. Lambie Company supervised the construction. The building was completed at a cost of close to $275,000. The original slate roof lasted sixty years. Due to cost factors at the time, CNC replaced it with asphalt shingles that have since fallen into disrepair.

On February 23, 1990, the Day Nursery was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, at capacity, CNC is able to provide early care and education for up to 700 children per day, Monday through Friday, on a year-round basis for children ages 6-weeks to14-years-old. It operates five centers, including the Historic Day Nursery, and created the Home Network, a group of 20 independently-licensed caregivers operating from their homes.

CNC provides further services to families through a number of partnerships, including those with the Community Partnership for Child Development, School Districts 2 and 11, Court Care for the Pikes Peak Region, and the Fourth Judicial Court District. These partnerships help families access care at CNC through Head Start, Colorado Preschool and Kindergarten Program, Child Care Assistant Program, a free drop-in service for children whose parents have court-related business, and Dare To Dream, a before and after school program for school age children.

Child Nursery Centers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with its corporate headquarters located at the Historic Day Nursery. To help CNC complete its fundraising efforts, contact Adele Faber at 632-1754 x23.