UVU To Break Ground On Expanded Wee Care Child Care Facility
January 7, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland will join donor Barbara Barrington Jones and other major contributors, along with university and community guests, to break ground for an expansion of the Wee Care Center child care facility on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. at 1138 S. 400 West, just northwest of the existing center on UVU’s Orem campus. The event will also include a naming announcement.
In September, Barrington Jones increased her contribution from $1 million to $2 million in order to make the Wee Care Center expansion a reality. Once completed in fall 2013, the 14,000-square-foot facility will dramatically expand the capacity of the Wee Care Center and allow many more student parents to attend classes and earn their degrees.
The overall purpose of the Wee Care Center, a program of UVU’s Turning Point, is to make it possible for low-income UVU students with children to complete their higher education. Predicating use from need-based criteria, the Wee Care Center is of particular help to low-income students with children. The Wee Care Center expansion is also one of several efforts the Holland administration is making to address the state challenge of low college completion rates for women.
“Today marks a new milestone for all low-income UVU students with children, particularly women,” President Holland said. “Because of the generosity of Barbara and many others, greater numbers of UVU female students will have access to affordable, quality child care on our campus than ever before. This is a win for women, a win for their families and a win for education.”
Utah lags behind other states in terms of postsecondary participant rates for women. To address this, Holland, in the spirit of greater access, has promoted the Wee Care Center, the Women’s Success Center and other UVU programs and initiatives as ways to provide greater opportunities for Utah women to attain a higher education. The endeavor also reinforces the state’s goal for two-thirds of Utahns to hold postsecondary degrees or certificates by 2020.
The center was founded in 2001 in a small older home. However, students’ needs quickly outpaced the facility’s maximum service capacity. The fundraising campaign for an expanded facility was launched in March at the inaugural Women’s Leadership Luncheon, hosted by UVU first lady Paige Holland. Participants discussed and developed ideas to encourage Utah women to complete degrees in higher education.
The new two-story facility will include a lobby with a reception/check-in desk, seven classrooms, a kitchen and multi-purpose area, staff offices and two age-appropriate playgrounds. Sixteen parking stalls will serve students and staff.
Barrington Jones is an author, motivational speaker and CEO of the nonprofit Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, which is dedicated to helping women of all ages to realize their full potential and lead more fulfilling and productive lives. She is also the grandmother of six grandchildren.
“I know what it’s like to be a single mother, and the fear and pain of thinking, ‘What do I do next?’ At that point, I dedicated my life to helping women,” Barrington Jones said of raising her two children. “I saw the Wee Care Center and the children there and said, ‘This is where my help will go.’”
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.