Posted: Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 11:53am
New owners purchase site of embattled day care center
By B.J. Williams Administrator
CLERMONT - The owners of a child care center in Gainesville have purchased the property once occupied by Discovering Basics daycare in Clermont, the facility at the center of a controversy over an injured child.
Tina McConnell and her husband Stephen currently operate Joyland Child Development Center on Rainey Street in Gainesville, a child care facility that has been family-owned for almost three decades. The McConnells closed on the property on Cleveland Highway at the end of June, and they have been making improvements to the site as they await state approval of all paperwork.
"We're getting the carpet cleaned today and we've been polishing the floors - it's going to look like a new center," said McConnell. She said they've also made improvements to the exterior of the facility.
At full capacity, the new Joyland Child Development Center North will be able to serve 91 children.
McConnell did not want to speak about the issues facing the previous property owners, but instead chose to focus on the future of her business.
"We do have to get the parents to trust us...and get employees that have been trained," said McConnell. "The main concern is taking care of the children, their safety and their health and the cleanliness of the place, and that's what we plan on doing."
In addition, McConnell said she's installed surveillance cameras in the building to ensure the safety of children and employees.
McConnell said as soon at Joyland North's license is approved by the state, then she will start taking applications for clients; she's hoping that will be some time this week.
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