NORTH CANTON: The former Willis Motor Co. site on North Main Street will become the new home of the North Canton YMCA Child Care Center.
The YMCA of Central Stark County purchased the long-vacant site last week for an undisclosed amount, North Canton Y Director Ben Wheeler said.
The plan is to develop the 16,000-square-foot building “into a first-class, high-quality child-care center,” Wheeler said. He said there is also a possibility of relocating the Y Infant and Toddler Center from West Maple Street.
The Child Care Center serves about 200 kids in the former North Canton High School, a block away from the Willis site. The Infant and Toddler Center has approximately 30 daily clients.
Wheeler said he hoped there would be space for more children, but the Y will first take care of families currently enrolled in the programs.
The Child Care Center has been on the first floor of the former high school for 15 years.
“We are very pleased that the YMCA is growing and re-investing here in North Canton,” Mayor David Held said.
The firm of Harris-Day Architects is working on plans for interior renovation, Wheeler said. The plan is to have the facility ready by the end of August, when the Y’s lease for the high school space expires.
“We appreciate the help and support of Jeff and Ilona Willis,” Wheeler said. “They are community-minded and fantastic to work with.”
Willis Motor Co. moved from West Maple Street to North Main Street on Oct. 1, 1990, Jeff Willis said. The company was a Pontiac dealership until closing Sept. 2, 2008.
“Our family is very glad it is serving the community,” Willis said.
Dottie McGrew can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.