Letter to the Editor: With Holcomb razing, what happens to local services?

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the April 3 article about the future demolition of the Holcomb building. ?This article notes the fact that Livingston-Wyoming ARC rents space in the Holcomb building, through which they provide "daycare, preschool, early intervention, speech therapy and evaluation services." What is unfortunately unclear in the article is whether these services will still be offered on campus - or even within the village of Geneseo - if (or when?) the Holcomb building is razed for the new athletic field. ?I sincerely hope that the college takes whatever steps are necessary in order to insure that these services do remain conveniently available.

The programs provided by Livingston-Wyoming ARC are vitally important social services and their presence on campus contributes to our community in many important ways. ?A number of our students are employed in the Kidstart daycare located in Holcomb, and others conduct observations and other activities related to the college's early-childhood education

programs. ?Many more of our students, staff and faculty rely on the daycare services provided through the programs located in Holcomb. The ARC facilities also serve as a magnet for children from all over Livingston and Wyoming counties, forging important links between the

college and the wider communities in which we reside.

In my own experience, the daycare programs offered by Kidstart have been exemplary. ?The staff is professional, enthusiastic, and most important, compassionate. ?Under the best of circumstances, it is difficult for families to negotiate a balance between work and responsibilities as parents of young children, and we unfortunately live in a society that does not make affordable childcare a high priority. Kidstart very effectively addresses this problem at the local level.

In the strongest possible terms, I call on the college to prioritize affordable and accessible on-campus childcare services. ?The college does a very good job of creating a family-friendly environment that reinforces a spirit of community. ?The disappearance of ARC-sponsored Kidstart programs from our campus would pose a significant hardship for many of our

students, faculty and staff, and would sadly damage a key component of this community spirit.

-Joe Cope

Associate Professor