Utah Valley University broke ground Thursday on an expansion of its child-care center for low-income students.
Designed to help more parents finish college, the 14,000-square-foot Wee Care Center at 1138 S. 400 West in Orem, will be able to hold 110 children when complete. The building will be named for Barbara Barrington Jones, an author and owner of two of Barbizan Schools of Modeling and Fashion Merchandising who donated $2 million of the $3.75 million needed for the project. She is also a former single mother.
The center's 60 spots quickly filled after it was founded in 2001, and it's stayed full ever since, said Carol Verbecky, director of UVU's Turning Point. Costs start at $1 a hour.
"We don't actually keep a waiting list because it gives people false hope," she said. Parents must be students who qualify for federal Pell Grants and register in the week before a semester begins.
They are also asked to volunteer eight hours a semester with the staff of university employees and UVU students studying child care. The center is open to student-parents during class time and an hour or two of study time a week, Verbecky said.