Head Start gets new home

Published 1:08 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It’s official: Andalusia’s Head Start program is moving to the Bright Beginnings building this fall.

Earlier this year, the Andalusia Housing Authority, which has operated Bright Beginnings preschool, announced it no longer had the funding to do so.

Head Start has been operating in an older facility owned by the city, and the city has provided approximately $45,000 in annual support for routine maintenance on the facility.

Now, the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning Commission, through which federal funding for Head Start flows, has entered an agreement to house the program at the Bright Beginnings building. The city has agreed to do approximately $20,000 in modifications to the new building, and to provide $25,000 each year for utilities and maintenance.

Director of Planning Andy Wiggins said the needed changes include installing miniature toilets and sinks, and putting sinks appropriate for food prep in two classrooms.

Previously, the city has provided $75,000 in support for Bright Beginnings. The changes will save $75,000 in the first year, and an additional $20,000 in successive years, once the modifications are completed.

The current building used by Head Start is a former school building owned by the city and is outdated, Mayor Earl Johnson said. It also needs a new roof. The building will be razed, he said.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved abatement of five properties for weed violations.
  • Agreed to provide $2,500 in funding for July Jamz. The remaining $20,000 was raised through sponsorships.

The additional funds were needed because as the event has grown, more sound equipment is needed, Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Director Chrissie Duffy said.