Manhattan Nonprofit Reopens One Child Care Center, Works To Reopen Another
A Lower Manhattan nonprofit is celebrating the reopening of one child care center damaged by Hurricane Sandy while still working to make repairs to another. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
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The South Street Early Learning Center at Hamilton-Madison House is once again bustling.
Hurricane Sandy dumped more than a foot of water in the space, frying the electrical outlets and damaging supplies.
"The drywall had to be cut out of everywhere, replaced and repainted, cleaned fully again," said Laura Kollins of Hamilton-Madison House. "All the outlets had to replaced."
Last week, the center reopened for the first time since the storm. It serves 52 mostly low-income families from Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
Through an interpreter, parent Qio Hong Sie said she's relieved to get her children back to their normal routine.
"Joyful, amazing, because when one month, they cannot come back here, the kids are always at home asking, 'Mom, mom, how long do we have to wait to come back?'" Sie said through an interpreter.
The United Way of New York paid for the more than $17,000 worth of repairs needed at the center. It was part of a $300,000 grant from the organization to the New York City Administration for Children's Services to repair damage to child care centers citywide.
"We all want out children to go to someplace where they can prosper and grow and get ready for kindergarten and beyond, and this kind of grant from the United Way helps us do just that," said Ronald Richter, commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services.
"Families have to work, so they have to have reliable child care services," said Elwanda Young, chief operating officer of the United Way of New York City. "So it was just critical that we assist in whatever we could."
Just down the block, on the other side of the Manhattan Bridge there's still more work to be done at Hamilton-Madison's Market Street day care site. It's still closed because of $44,000 worth of storm damage. The old wood floor needs to be replaced.
"Now we're going to put down stone floor. We're going to go with granite," Kollins said. "I think that should make it through the next storm."
Officials hope to have that location reopened by the end of the month.