September 14, 2022 |

Valley Village Childcare has big changes in mind for the building that is now serves as home Platte Valley Clinic.

The clinic will relocate to the North Platte Valley Medical Center when construction of the new hospital is completed. Then in, checkerboard fashion, the Valley Village Childcare will relocate the daycare to where the clinic is now. This is the plan, anyway, according to Ellie Dana, vice-chairperson of the Valley Village board of directors.

The building that houses the clinic, at 1208 South River Street, is known as the Ray A. Corbett Medical Building. The Town of Saratoga owns the building.

When the clinic moves out, Valley Village Childcare plans on leasing the building from the town. Regulatory differences between running a medical clinic and a childcare facility means the building will have to be renovated and upgraded before the doors can open to the youth of Saratoga.

A beefed-up fire suppression system will have to be installed as part of the changes.

The Department of Family Services requires childcare facilities to have a sprinkler system. The building is not outfitted with one. Dana said her team would be responsible for installing fire suppression equipment. This includes installing the plumbing to deliver water to the sprinkler heads. She estimated that this would cost upwards of $50,000. Dana said her organization will pay for the upfront costs associated with purchasing and installing the system.

Pictured above: File photo of the Ray A. Corbett Medical Building. Photo by Bigfoot 99.

To offset the expense, the daycare center will seek a reduced cost on its monthly lease. The clinic’s lease states that the monthly rent is $1,000. Renovations must also be done to make the attic more accessible. To improve fire safety, specific equipment must be installed.

The new fire prevention system is cheaper than hiring new staff which would be required under state law.

The garage door must also be child-proofed by installing a built-in monitor to automatically raise the door if it detects an obstacle while closing. The Town of Saratoga would be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building. Dana and her team would take care of everything else.

The Department of Family Services also requires that every daycare facility have a fenced yard for children to play outdoors. The Corbett building property does not have a yard. Dana wants the council to allow her to section off part of the park across the street.

Dana needs a final design for the fence before she presents it to the council. The town is aware that fencing is required by DFS rules. Valley Village Childcare would install and maintain the fence.

The North Platte Valley Medical Center has no definite opening date. Until the medical center opens, the Platte Valley Clinic can’t move. Dana is unable to do any remodeling until that happens.

She is hopeful that her team can move in by January 1st and begin working. Dana said that she expects the construction to last until June.

Dana is working with the town to write a new lease that accommodates the building upgrades she wants along with the reduced rental rate. Although the town won’t pay for the upgrades upfront, Dana expects to be reimbursed over time with reduced rent. All changes must be approved by Dana’s and the town’s lawyers. Dana said this is not a fast process.

Dana and the town haven’t reached an agreement. Speaking at last Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Creed James said there are things that still need to be worked out.

Dana is confident that everything will be in place for her team to begin work as soon as the clinic moves.

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