Kevin Elwell returned from work one day and told his wife, Carrie, that he wanted to open a child care center.
The Apollo Beach couple had watched friends successfully do it in Pasco County.
That was more than nine years ago, and the Elwells opened their first Kids 'R' Kids in Gibsonton in August 2007. Now, they have announced their intentions to own and operate a second location closer to home in the Waterset community.
The 15,000-square-foot school is currently under construction and is projected to open this winter. It will cater to 300 children from 6 weeks to 12 years old. The center will include 10 classrooms and create up to 40 jobs, including teachers who will either transfer from other locations or be trained to start new.
Carrie Elwell, who has served on the SouthShore chamber board for many years, said the new school will feature many upgrades such as a Technology-STEAM lab — featuring science, technology, engineering, art and math — and a number of other technological enhancements designed to stimulate learning in the classrooms.
Webcams will be online so parents can check on their children via the Internet, and a splash pad playground figures to keep students cool outside. The Apollo Beach Kids 'R' Kids also will utilize an ultraviolet light tool to treat and sanitize toys and other items.
"With the community growing by leaps and bounds, there's a lot of demand for early childhood education programs like the one we offer," Carrie Elwell said. "We have fallen in love with the local community since we opened our doors in SouthShore."
The new school represents the 16th Kids 'R' Kids' location in Florida and the ninth in the Tampa Bay area. The company has nearly 160 schools in 16 states nationwide.
The school will provide care from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more about enrollment at the Waterset location, please visit KRKsouthshore.com or call (813) 672-0400.
Senior community expands in Riverview
Twin Creeks Senior Living plans to open a location in Riverview next spring.
The community will be adjacent to the River Springs Town Center, near the FishHawk Ranch community. The two-story building will include 80 assisted living and memory care apartments in addition to common area spaces and outdoor living areas for residents.
"Our philosophy in retirement living is to ensure that our residents not just thrive in their new home," said David Ammons, president of Retirement Living Associates Inc., which will help develop and manage the community. "We want to help each resident truly enjoy this next chapter in their life."
When completed, Twin Creeks will provide a variety of dining options for residents, various gathering spaces for activities and events, and a spacious library with a fireplace.
Residents also will enjoy exercise areas and beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces. Home choices will include companion suites, studios and one-bedroom apartments.
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