Going Green: Tampa Child Care Facility Built To Respect Environment

A new child-care facility in Tampa is coming up green.

Owners Keith Balot and Ben Fernandez are building their second Kids R Kids Tampa franchise location at 5815 Kids Crossing Drive in the Circa FishHawk development in Lithia. And the finished building, when it opens in early 2011, will be LEED certified.

"We want to teach our kids to be responsible to the environment," says Balot. "At Kids R Kids we want to be the best. We didn't want to go for state certification. We wanted to go all the way. We're looking to positively affect our environment in everything we do on this project, from the carpeting to our water.system. We've even got recycling receptacles on our playground."

Cornerstone Solutions Group
of Dade City is building the 14,278-square-foot facility. According to Cornerstone CEO Justin Floyd, this will be the first LEED certified facility among the 170 Kids R Kids franchises across the country.

Floyd says the major elements that contribute to the certification include its metal construction and metal roof; its parking lot poured with recycled concrete; its environmentally responsible carpeting, paint and wall covering products and its energy- and water-efficient fixtures.

According to Balot, the interior design of all Kids R Kids locations are just as important; designed to enhance the learning environment.

"Our building is all glass inside so you can see room to room," he explains. "That's a standard at all Kids R Kids locations. It makes it easier for kids to  transition when they are promoted to the next age room. They've already seen the room and their new teacher every day."

Balot and Fernandez also own a Kids R Kids franchise location at 4321 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Keith Balot, Kids R Kids; Justin Floyd, Cornerstone Solutions Group
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