The Mad River Valley Community Fund, (MRVCF), is granting $100,000 to Neck of the Woods, (NOW), for an expanded wastewater system. This will allow for capacity for up to 200 people.
This upgrade will allow for expansion of early childhood programs on the first floor to reach a capacity of 75 children per day and it is the first step towards expansion to programming on the second floor for up to 125 people. “Not only does this donation allow us to meet codes required to continue to run a safely-permitted facility, it also gives us the gift of creative opportunity to expand further and build programs for whichever age most needs an enriching environment to call home in our community” said Moie Moulton, executive director of NOW.
MRVCF granted NOW $100,000 for its water system last year and funded the $50,000 down payment on the Small Dog building purchase the year before. "We know the need for early education and child care here in The Valley is one of our biggest challenges. Moie and her staff have presented us with an opportunity to make a major impact. We are very excited to support NOW’s continued development," explained Ashley Woods, MRVCF board chair.
NOW currently serves 25 infants and toddlers and 35 preschoolers in the former Small Dog building. There are 125 children signed up for summer programming/camps between ages of infant to 14 years of age (enrollment for many groups is still open). NOW also runs afterschool care at Moretown Elementary for 45 kids.
“I feel like we’re supporting this amazing leadership. The Moretown Leadership team hired Moie to run an afterschool program in 2012 so that the school could save money from busing home three preschoolers midday, and fill a long-needed demand for quality afterschool programming for working parents,” said Duane Pierson, MRVCF board member and Harwood Middle School principal. “Look at what she’s done since then,” added Pierson.
MRVCF board member and local business owner, Troy Kingsbury, echoed those thoughts. “They have a plan and are easy to support.”
NOW board president JB Weir said that the capacity of the existing septic system is unknown and the information is no longer available.
“When we applied for the public water system permit, we had to use what is called a "clean slate" as far as WW capacity goes because we didn't know. This was enough in the end to encompass the 59 kids and staff we had in the building. We know there is more capacity there now, but this was the best approach to get the public water system permitted and operational,” he explained.
“Now, we are seeking septic capacity for up to 200 kids/staff. The next phase is to serve up to 125 kids with an additional 20 staff, but we decided to go with excess capacity to accommodate whatever might lay ahead. Two hundred kids/staff would require approximately 3,000 gallons per day,” Weir said.
To achieve this, a new leach field will be put in either adjacent to the upper playground or down by the solar array. McCain Consulting has been brought aboard to design and permit the system. The project will need to go through Act 250. Design and permitting should take two to three more months, with an expected construction of a new system in the summer, to be ready for the 2022-23 school year.