Under Construction

Kids Ahoy owners, Bill and Sandy Stewart, watch as a painter works inside their new preschool center, located on the same site as Ahoy Kids, 1890 E. Ninth St., which the couple also owns. The new center will take the place of the one operating at 1930 E. Fifth St. The center will have seven classrooms, LCD monitors for powerpoint and music learning and an area for school age children to go before and after school and during summer camp. It is expected to be completed in early August with the first day in the new building set at Aug. 11.  About 90 children will use the preschool space. Missourian Photo.

Two Washington preschool centers will soon be on one site.

Sandy and Bill Stewart, Washington, own both Kids Ahoy Learn and Care LLC, 1930 E. Fifth St., and Ahoy Kids Learn and Care LLC., 1890 E. Ninth St.

Kids Ahoy opened in October 2003. After the preschool outgrew the space on Fifth Street, in 2011, the couple opened their second location on Ninth Street.

Now that the lease is up on the Fifth Street location, the couple decided to expand on their own space.

Each center houses children from infants to 12 years of age. There are an average of 75 children in each building now.

After the new building is complete, all children will be in two buildings at the Ninth Street location. Rather than having the two names, the location will be called Kids Ahoy Learn and Care LLC.

Construction of the 4,200-square-foot building began in April and is expected to be completed in August, with the first day in the new facility set for Aug. 11, Stewart said. It can house 90 children.

The old building will be used for children who aren’t potty-trained while the new building will be tailored to children who are potty-trained.

There will be a total of seven classrooms, two each for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children. Another space will be specifically designed for before/after school children and will be used for the summer program.

One location will allow for better management and organization, Stewart said. The preschool program will be adjusted to each age level.

Stewart said she is most excited about revamping the preschool program.

“We’re going to be using a lot of Powerpoint and teaching to music,” she said. “Everything we learn will be to music.”

Television monitors will be set up between classrooms for preschool instruction.

The general contractor for the project is John Kleekamp of Innovative Building Concepts, Washington.

Stewart said it’s been exciting to see the building take shape, especially with all the trucks and tractors on site.

“We love to serve our community, and this is the best way we can see to do that,” Stewart said.

Childcare Background

Sandy Stewart has been involved with child care for more than 20 years, starting first in her home.

She also has directed Sunday school classes.

Bill Stewart has two degrees, one in psychology and pastoral counseling with an emphasis on family and children and the other in biblical studies.

He also has state required college hours in childhood studies.

He has been an ordained minister for 30 years and was involved in full-time ministry for more than 20 years.