California 56th District Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia scored a huge win for Palo Verde College's (PVC) ongoing multi-million dollar Child Development Center (CDC) relocation/expansion project this past week, which will see an additional $3 million in secured state funding (SB [Senate Bill] 129) toward the future site at 141 S. Second St.
As previously reported by the Times, PVC and city leadership were joined by Garcia at a ceremony on the morning of May 8 to mark the project's groundbreaking.
“We are excited to announce our success obtaining an additional $3 million towards the Palo Verde College Child Development Center project we broke ground on this spring,” stated Garcia, who had previously secured $1 million from the 2019 California Budget toward the project. “Early childhood care and education are fundamental to boosting achievement and ensuring the overall long-term success of our students from cradle to career and ultimately our region’s prosperity. I am grateful that we have been able to secure a total of $4 million from the State of California to support this expansion and double program capacity of the child development center.”
In addition to the investment on the area's early childhood education, the PVC's new CDC infrastructure and development will significantly improve about a quarter of the South Second Street neighborhood block’s property in the core of the city – which is currently made up of an empty dirt lot and an older building.
“Since arriving in the State Legislature, we have been pushing to increase early childhood education investments, and this year we are proud to be able to make landmark investments across all branches of education. I am committed to making sure our community receives an equitable share of these vital resources,” added Garcia.
At the May 8 groundbreaking ceremony, PVC leadership noted the new location will be able to service 80 Palo Verde Valley area kids from the community – essentially doubling the CDC's current capacity of 40, for which there is a waiting list.
“We are extremely grateful to Assemblymember Garcia for his hard work in securing this funding for our college and our community. He has so many needs vying for his attention, and he took the time to be concerned about the people and the children of Blythe," stated PVC Superintendent/President Dr. Donald Wallace to the Times. "The Palo Verde College Child Development Center has been serving the children and parents of our community for decades, and this funding will allow us to serve even more children and will secure a permanent place in the heart of our community.”
Riverside County 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez additionally took a moment this week to praise Garcia's commitment to the region, to include the PVC CDC budget funding.
"I thank Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia for championing these budget requests for our communities,” stated Perez. “What Assemblymember Garcia accomplished in getting these important budget asks across the finish line and especially getting this funding for Oasis Mobile Home Park residents to live in safer and better housing, is extraordinary and will have incredible benefits to our communities. This state budget is bold and brings unprecedented resources to address issues of great importance, such as housing, the need for clean drinking water, infrastructure, and child care and early education.”
The CDC expansion/relocation project has also received close to $500,000 from the Riverside County Office of Education toward the site.
“One of the things that’s important to acknowledge here is – (Vice President of Administrative Services/Executive Director of the PVC Foundation) Stephanie Slagan was the individual who came out to see us at the Starbucks while we were having a mobile office hour. She came out to talk to us, and told us about this urgency that was right around the corner as it related to having to relocate the Child Development Center. And the huge need that was already present – and without a doubt, the long list of families waiting,” shared Garcia at the May 8 groundbreaking ceremony. “And it wasn’t long before there were some much more in-depth conversations with Stephanie; and, I think it’s important that I acknowledge two members of our team – Ruben Perez and Kimberly Barraza, who actually are our eyes and ears out here (in Blythe) while we’re in Sacramento. And they began to shepherd this request along the way.”