Tykes were invited to get dirty Sunday at the groundbreaking for a new Kansas University child-care center.
Parents and children associated with Hilltop Child Development Center now or in the past were invited to turn a shovel at 1 p.m. on the future site of a $3.3 million, 18,000-square-foot center on Irving Hill Road south of the Burge Union.
The current facility on Jayhawk Boulevard was built in 1954 and has suffered plumbing, ventilation and electrical problems.
"It's not big enough," added Hilltop executive director Pat Pisani. "We've expanded into every square inch of it."
Upon completion in July 2000, the new center will feature a nature theme. The west wing will have colors and texture corresponding to prairie grasses of western Kansas, while the east wing will reflect the forested terrain of eastern Kansas.
Two-thirds of the funding will come from an annual $4 fee assessed to all KU students. Student Senate initiated a $2 fee in 1993, but doubled the charge last year.
Other financing comes mostly from revenue bonds issued by KU. Hilltop rates will increase slightly to help cover bond debt, Pisani said.
She said the current center serves approximately 150 children. Capacity of the new facility will be about 225.
-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.