Clemson University will break ground on a new child development center on Feb. 8. The 12,700-square-foot facility will be located on the main campus at S.C. Highway 93 and Seneca Creek Road near the Snow Family Fitness and Wellness Center and will be operated by a private, third-party provider for infant, toddler and preschool children.
The concept of campus child care had been discussed for many years, according to Linda Tindal, the administrative coordinator of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. “Child care at Clemson has been on the Women’s Commission agenda since its inception in 1994, and discussed in other committee groups long before that,” she said.
In 2005, a Creative Inquiry student group led by then-Provost Dori Helms and Public Health Sciences professor Cheryl Dye studied the need and feasibility for a main campus child care center.
In 2012, a resolution in support of a child care center was endorsed by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty & Staff, the Faculty Senate and Staff Senate, the Office of Access and Equity and Graduate Student Government.
Kathy Headley, Ed.D., senior associate dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and College of Education chaired the Women’s Commission at that time. It was Headley’s mission to gain collaborative support among campus groups. “For an initiative like this, it was crucial to get consensus from the entire campus,” she said. “It demonstrates that when groups across an organization come together, they can accomplish great things.”
Clemson trustees listened to their constituents and gave phase one approval of a proposed facility in 2015. The process of required approvals continued through state authorities and back to the trustees who gave final approval last year.
Construction of the center is being funded through an established endowment for faculty and staff benefits, with expected completion in 2020.
“This is exciting for all the people who collaborated over many years to make a campus child care center a reality,” said Dye. “It’s hard to believe it was 15 years ago that Dori Helms asked me co-lead Creative Inquiry teams to do the groundwork for a center. Their work was complemented by the tireless efforts of the Women’s Commission. With President Clements’ arrival, the pieces all finally fell into place.”
Image Credits: Clemson University Relations. | Photographs and material from Clemson University Relations used by permission.