By Chiara Mattirolo, USAG Livorno Public AffairsJune 29, 2009
CAMP DARBY, Italy -- The doors of the Camp Darby Child Development Center opened to the community children on June 16 after a year-long renovation costing approximately $1 million.
"This renovation was absolutely necessary," said Linda Fornaciari, CDC director. "The building had been the same since 1991; there were many things that needed to be done in order to ensure a more functional environment."
Besides new flooring and lighting that contribute significantly to the appealing look of the environment, some structural changes were made to raise the standards and make children and teachers more comfortable.
"We can count on three bathrooms and five children sinks now," said teacher Grace Bertei. "We also have shades in the window for nap time and the children seem to be more comfortable."
Fornaciari said with a few walls being removed, there now is better observation, especially in the infant room, for staff supervision.
"This room now is open so that we have a better visibility of all the children in the room," said Mariarosa Contadini, a teacher in the infant room. "We are still experiencing the best layout, but everything is working fine."
In the toddler's room, the bathrooms have been moved closer to the playground door.
"It is extremely important for us, this is the age when the children start getting potty trained and having the toilet close to the door makes a difference when the children are playing outside and need to hurry to the bathroom," said teacher Mary Bertei.
Toddler Giorgia Fannelli said she likes the new building and what she likes the most are the new toys and the playground.
An open house was held on June 19 for the community to visit the renovated CDC.
"We had a very positive feedback from all the parents on this renovated facility" said Fornaciari. "It is much more comfortable, the children can take advantage of a nice shady playground. Bottom line, we are very glad to be back at home."