The Town of Babylon is constructing a new building for the Head Start program in Wyandanch.
The structure will be larger than the 4,000-square-foot building on Long Island Avenue where Head Start is housed now, town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said. The program, he said, has outgrown that building, which sits in a location targeted for part of Wyandanch Rising, the town's $500 million public/private redevelopment.
The new building will be on Washington Avenue, next to the Wyandanch Youth Services building at 20 Andrews Ave., creating a "community services hub," Ruggeri said.
The estimated cost is more than $1.8 million. The town is using $850,000 in state funds obtained by Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) and $1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
Started in 1966, Long Island Head Start aims to provide comprehensive child development programs to children from low income families. The program also gets parents and family members involved and helps with educational training and job skills programs. The nonprofit serves 1,500 children at 19 sites across Suffolk County.
Debrah Garcia, chief executive of Long Island Head Start, said Wyandanch's is one of the oldest Head Start programs in the county and serves about 100 children.
Garcia said Head Start is "overwhelmingly grateful" for the new building, which comes as the nation's economic problems hurt "the most vulnerable families."
Construction will start within a few months, Ruggeri said. The town last week authorized contracts with Sidney B. Bowne & Son Llp in Mineola totaling $81,900 for engineering and other work along with SRF Architect P.C. in Amityville for $81,500.