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New child care facility in Tampa touts high-tech features

Special to the Times

Special to the Times

Michael McGuinness was looking for a newer and more techno-savvy facility when he went hunting around Tampa for child care.

When he didn't find what he envisioned, he figured other parents were looking, too — so he decided to build one.

He and his wife, Alisandra, recently renovated a 16,000-square-foot building at 205 N. Brush St., at E Washington Street.

Carlton Academy Day School opened in January. The day care, preschool and aftercare facility was designed to serve 241 children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 12 years.

Because they started from scratch, McGuinness said the couple were able to install a full security system, a rapid-response fire-suppression system and 29 Web cams throughout the building and in each classroom.

"Parents can log in via security system from wherever they are in the world and watch their child," McGuinness said. "They love it."

The day care is situated between the Channelside area and the central business district, not far from the Towers of Channelside condos, of which McGuinness is one of the developers. The Towers made news recently after developers filed for bankruptcy protection.

Hours for Carlton Academy are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Full-time care prices are $895 a month for infants and $675 a month for children ages 19 months to 5 years. Aftercare programs are $235 a month; McGuinness said the facility will offer transportation from area schools as needed. The Web site is

A smaller presence

Hollywood Video, which at one time had 10 locations in Hillsborough County, is cutting that number to three. Among those closing its doors at the end of March will be the location at 3801 W Gandy Blvd.

Hollywood Video parent company Movie Gallery Inc. announced in October that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of its effort to restructure, the Alabama-based company said in February it would soon close about 400 stores it deemed "underperforming and unprofitable."

About 500 stores have closed in the past year, including one on S Dale Mabry Highway and another near International Plaza. Video stores have suffered from declining sales and rentals since the launch of DVDs-by-mail services.

Between now and the end of the month, the Gandy location will liquidate its stock of DVDs and games.

For Tito's, duty calls

South Tampa now has one fewer place to grab fast, inexpensive Spanish and Cuban food. Tito's Latin Café closed last month, a note on the window indicating its owner was a military reservist who was being sent overseas.

Tito's, at 1155 S. Dale Mabry, was once known as Pipo's Latin Café. The restaurant was zoned to sell sangria, wine and bottled beer, but a posted city notice indicates the zoning will expire at the end of March unless another restaurant is able to open by then in the space.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Send an e-mail to or call 226-3394.

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Amy Scherzer

New child care facility in Tampa touts high-tech features 03/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 5:01am]
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