Child development center reopens after 2-year battle with new direction

Melrose Adventist Child Development Center enrolling students

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - After being closed for two years, a child development center filled with controversy in northwest Roanoke is getting a new start.

The Melrose Adventist Child Development Center is enrolling students for a start date of Monday.

The former Northwest Child Development Center on Melrose is now the Melrose Adventist Child Development Center. Their ages 2 to 3 for the toddlers class, 4 to 5 for the preschool and ages 5 to 12 for the before and after school program.

Angela Williams will be the executive director. She says enrollment is looking good so far for the program. 
"We do have some parents that have come out and enrolled their children. We are looking to gather about 30 more children for our program. Our goal is enroll 42 children by Monday," said Williams.

The Northwest Child Development Center closed in 2015 after more than 30 years of being open in the same location. It's all because of the loss of grant money and concerns over the board members at the time.
The situation left many families without child care.

"We understand what parents went through when this building was shut down so it means a lot to us to make sure this building is not just for the children but for the community as well," said Williams.

As part of the new beginning, the center was completely renovated. There are brand new classrooms with televisions and a playground for children.

Now it wants to be a place of hope in the area. Melrose Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church across the street purchased the building after being approached by the previous board. The purchase price was $100,000 and is paid for through private donors and the church.

The pastor says education is one of the core values of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It's a place to reach more people in the community by opening an education facility.

"This is a place of hope. A beginning of people's future. And we are beginning to paint that future for them," said the pastor, Shaun Arthur.

The church also changed portions of the name of the center.

"This is in the Melrose community so we use Melrose. The next is Adventist for the Adventist church and then child development center. We tried to retain some portion of the history because we know this has been here for a really long time," said Arthur.

And they ensure the community they are a licensed faith-based center with two different kinds of curricula such as Creation.

"We been through a license process and licenses have been signed off and we have all our documents," said Williams.

The child development center will offer transportation, lunch, financial assistance and before and after school care for children. The cost is $155 per child a week. 

"We will be working with Feeding America for the after-school program. We will also do the backpack program on the weekends.

The Melrose Adventist Child Development Center will have a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Sept. 30.


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