State awards $1.4M grant to Bristol preschool


BRISTOL — The state has awarded a $1.4 million dollar grant to assist with the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center’s continued renovations and improvements at its new home in the old Jennings Elementary School on Burlington Avenue.


State Rep. Whit Betts, R-Bristol, and state Sen. Henri Martin, R-Bristol, applauded the decision to award the grant. The money will be used to finance the renovations and improvements to the facility’s first floor.


“The Bristol Preschool Child Care Center continues to serve as a major provider of quality care and education for young children in our community,” said Betts. “The teachers, administrators, and staff deserve all of the credit for making Bristol Preschool a successful model for educating and caring for our children as they learn and grow.”


Betts extended his thanks to everyone involved in the process to secure the grant, including the late Betty Boukus, who was a longtime Democratic state representative for Plainville and Bristol, as well as state Rep. Livvy Floren, R-Greenwich, and Gov. Dannel Malloy “for placing priority on this project, which will benefit the care and education of our children for years to come.”


“It’s fitting that the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center is part of the legacy former Rep. Boukus leaves the City of Bristol,” Martin said. “She was a strong advocate for children and the preschool has played an important role in the lives of so many Bristol children. Now, it will be able to serve even more children.”


For more than 40 years, the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center has provided early childhood care and education for children ages 3-5.


Jennings closed in 2012, as part of a school district project that closed a number of old schools and opened two large, new ones. The city sold Jennings, which was built in the 1920s, to D’Amato Construction for $100,000 in 2013.


D’Amato is converting the upper floors into senior apartments and leased the ground floor to the preschool.


Shirley Anderson, preschool executive director, said the organization searched for more than 10 years for the right location to provide subsidized, affordable infant-toddler care for the community.


The new location opened Sept. 12, with the entrance to its parking lot on Cypress Street. The whole ground floor of the building, 17,000 square feet, was completely gutted and redone for the preschool. The bulk of the funding behind the renovation came from a $3.25 million from the state Bond Commission awarded in 2015.


The preschool held an open house for state legislators and local officials back in November.


Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .