New Head Start to be built in Elizabeth Canty area

New Head Start to be built in Elizabeth Canty area

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A controversial Head Start that some people did not want to see built on the east side of Columbus may now be built on another side of town.

Enrichment services announced plans Thursday to build a new school near the Elizabeth Canty apartment homes on Cusseta Road.

This picture of new Head Start school expected to be built on Cusseta Road in Columbus put a smile on Connie Thomas' face. She is the mother of two young boys and by the time the school is opens in 2015 her children will be eligible to attend, making her life a lot easier.

"Daycare is expensive and like she said they don't have a curriculum or nothing like that for them they just play or eat snacks or something, but in Head Start it's like school before school," Thomas said.

If this rendering of the new Head Start looks familiar that's because we've shown it to you before. Last fall several residents in Regency Park spoke out against having the school in their neighborhood, but the folks who came out Thursday night in Elizabeth Canty are singing a different tune.

"Their arms are open and they are welcoming, and actually want the community to be housed here in their community," said Teresa Johnson, director of Early Childhood Development.

Parents who came out Thursday night gave testimonials about the Head Start program, championing the cause to have a school right in their backyards. Despite the talk of recent cuts, Enrichment Services is proposing to serve over 100 children at this new location.

"We are having to cut some students for the upcoming school year because of Sequestration but we are hoping that the community will rally behind us and push us and give us a little more momentum with moving forward so that we can build this facility in the community," Johnson said.

Most of the funds to build this new school is expected to come from private donations. Connie Thomas is hoping that those donations come through so that her children will have a Head Start in their education.

"If they are able to build the building its going to be very... It's going to help out the community a lot," Thomas said.

The new school is expected to open in 2015--- no word yet on when this project is expected to move forward.

It was also discussed Thursday night that applications for Head Start programs for the upcoming school year are now available.

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