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Demolished former Wichita used car lot, makes way for future childcare center

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The landscape of downtown Wichita changed slightly Friday morning as demolition crews tore down Chico’s old used-car building in Kellogg and Topeka.

In its place, downtown motorists will see a sign announcing that it is the future home of Center City Academy, a non-profit early childhood development center.

Conner Hampton is the director of development for Center City Academy. He called this a giant step towards building the children’s center.

“Potentially 16,000 children right now in Wichita are in need of childcare,” he said. “For us to take this step, to have it demolished, [is] another big step toward our goal of building a 13,000-square-foot facility.”

He said it will be an early childhood learning center with room for 100 children.

“I believe child care is a force multiplier,” Hampton said. “So every child that comes into a safe facility has other family members, has parents, who can now go back to work and know that their child is in a safe environment where they know their children are learning every single day.”

He said Wichita is in a childcare crisis. She spoke at the Wichita City Council meeting on Tuesday to allow home day care centers in Sedgwick County to add two more children.

“Home daycare, daycare, we’re not competing,” Hampton said. “Everyone has a waiting list of around 100-200 children. So we know that every child care facility that opens, every home day care that can add two more places, just helps with that crisis and is once again helping all these children and families across Wichita.”

He said the projected opening date for Center City Academy is 2025. He said they chose the location so parents can take the Kellogg Exit, drop off their kids, and get to work.

Before it can open, Hampton said they’re still trying to raise money. If you want to learn more or make a donation, click on CenterCityAcademy.org.

He thanked a partnership with Dondlinger Construction and Conway Bank for the demolition on Friday.

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