The laughter and voices of children will once again fill the air of the former Little Flower Elementary School in Minot. Magic City Daycare Center will occupy the lower level of the old school, starting this month.
Sarah and Erik Seay, owners of the day-care center, have been looking for a permanent location for their day-care business since the Souris River flood of 2011 forced them to move from their Central Avenue site to a temporary site at North Hill Baptist Church.
Sarah said when she learned about the space available at the former school she was elated. After taking a tour of the building, she and her husband knew it would be a perfect setting for their business.
The Rev. Fred Harvey, pastor of Saint Therese Church of the Little Flower, 800 W. University Ave., holds the sign for Magic City Daycare after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 29 at the former location of Little Flower Elementary School. Sarah Seay and her husband, Erik, are moving their daycare business to the site and hope to be fully operational there on Jan. 22. The Seays sons, Peyton, age 3, left, and Hayden, age 5, are standing in front of their parents.
The Rev. Fred Harvey, pastor of St. Therese Church of the Little Flower, shared in the excitement.
The parish will continue to own and utilize parts of the parish building while the entire lower level will house the day-care business. Parish offices are located in the upper level of the building and in the future, space in the upper level may also be used by students from Minot State University as a Newman Center.
"The parish was looking for ways to help the community and daycare seemed to be a natural fit," Harvey said. "Each of the individual rooms on the lower level have bathrooms in them so they are set up exactly for what the daycare will need."
"And all of the rooms will have hand-washing sinks," Erik added.
The Seays have purchased toys, tables and chairs from the YWCA Early Learning Center, which closed in September 2012, to add to the daycare inventory which has been stored in their family garage since the flood. The toys, plus the accessibility to the gymnasium throughout the day where the children can dance, work on arts and crafts and have puppet shows, will enhance learning opportunities for the children. Once the snow melts, a fenced green space for an outdoor play area will be created by the parish for the children.
Magic City Daycare, 340-3578, will be licensed for 62 children ranging in age from infants to age 12. The business will operate independently while using the church's space. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Dec. 29 and the voices and sounds of children laughing will fill the area again with an expected opening date of Jan. 22.
"We want kids in the building," Harvey said. "That's what it was designed for; it's what it is for. It is an opportunity to give back to the community."
"The Seays want to do more for the community with a day-care mission and we, as a parish, want to do more for the community so it's a natural fit," Harvey added. "I am just excited to have children back here."