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Aug 4, 2016 11:10 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center In East Hampton Village Recieves State Grant For Building Repairs

A $250,000 state grant will help with repairs at the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center in East Hampton Village. KYRIL BROMLEY
Aug 8, 2016 3:07 PM

The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center in East Hampton Village has received a $250,000 state grant for building repairs, according to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who joined officials at the Early Childhood Center on Monday to announce the grant, which was awarded under the New York State Economic Development Program.

“I’ve long been aware of the great work that they do in East Hampton,” Mr. Thiele said of the center. “I think it is a critical part of the education system. In particular, their childcare and pre-k program does extremely well. Their building was in need of serious rehabilitation and we want to help them along with that so they can keep doing their mission.”

Mr. Thiele said the grant is one of many he and his office have been trying to secure for the facility.

“We got a call from Fred Thiele’s office about three weeks ago that [the grant] was gonna go through,” said Maureen Wikane, director of the center. “This will be used for capital improvement, which we’ve wanted to do for some time now. There will be some interior improvements, including the kitchen, and we’ll probably be working on the outside of the building. We hope to get the majority of the work done within the next six months.”

Ms. Wikane said construction is expected to take place at times when children are not present in the building and that the Childhood Center has been trying to raise money for building improvements for the last five years, in addition to trying to raise money for programs.

"We've been going to Fred for a while now," said Eleanor Whitmore, founder and honorary chair of the Childhood Center. "We first asked for $60,000 to fix a hole in our driveway and we go back because the building needs to be cared for. It's a 22-year-old building that needs repairs, specifically the roof, outdoor painting and structure."

"We usually have to raise about $400,000 just to operate every year since we're not-for-profit," Ms. Wikane said. "We've had great support from East Hampton donors, which makes it feel like a community project."

"This is a necessary place to have, because there are women in the community who need to go to work without worrying about their children. The building is very safe, so we want to make sure it doesn't deteriorate."

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