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Published: Wednesday, 4/6/2005

Waterville: Dueling child-care centers in the works

Waterville could soon have dueling child-care centers in two new buildings.

Children's Discovery Center, a nationwide child-care chain, recently broke ground for a facility on Dutch Road near Waterville-Monclova Road. It will be the company's sixth child-care center in the Toledo area.

Something Special Learning Center, which has been in Waterville for two decades, has submitted a zoning change request to the village so it can build a center on State Rt. 64 west of Waterville-Monclova. The center is designed to be 11,000 square feet, which is nearly double the size of Something Special's location on Waterville-Monclova near U.S. 24.

"We were looking at putting an addition on our building when we heard competition was moving in, so we upscaled our plans," said Jim Wolfe, owner of Something Special.

The Children's Discovery Center, scheduled to open in the fall, is designed to accommodate up to 190 children from six weeks to 10 years old. The building will include open spaces, a stage, and an interactive castle.

"It's going to be an Italian villa design," said Karen Baker, marketing and public relations director for the center. "It will be kind of a trend-setting building."

The building is on land that will be annexed into the village from Waterville Township next month. The site is within an area covered by an annexation agreement between the village and township, so the two entities will split property taxes from the new center.

Joe Bublick, the township's assistant zoning inspector, said the township gave special permission for construction to begin before the annexation was finalized. After the annexation goes through later this spring, the village will assign zoning to the site.

The Something Special Learning Center must go through a two-step process with the village so it can build its new facility, which will be able to accommodate about 180 children from six weeks to 12 years old.

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