The new center for children
While the game of musical chairs seems most suited to kids, the adults running the Bonham Unified School District are proving themselves very adept at the sport— at least when it comes to locating a site for the Ophelia Williamson Children’s Center, Bonham’s 65-year-old public childcare center. Founded in 1952 the children’s center originally made its home at Bonham Elementary School, at 2213 11th St. Ten years later, it moved to the Ophelia Williamson School building at 1268 Maple St. (near 15th Street), where it remained for the next 45 years.
In 1987, however, when Sun Valley School, the city’s special art program, took over the Ophelia Williamson site, the children’s center was shifted back to Elementary School.
Now this fall, as reported in the June issue of local paper, Sun Valley is returning to the East District, to the site it shared with Education Center from 1995 to 1997 (221 12th St.) And the Ophelia Williamson Children’s Center will be reinstated in its old classrooms at Maple Street.
According to Monica Cross, a supervisor in the school district’s elementary school division, the Ophelia Williamson, and Sun Valley School moves were triggered by the district’s consolidation of three education centers In order to cut costs. The Mission, Spanish, and Chinese education centers, which provide elementary programs for immigrant children, will now share facilities and principals with three other elementary schools, instead of occupying their own buildings. In the current shuffle, the Mission Education Center was relocated to Bonham Elementary, freeing up Sun Valley’s more spacious former school site.
The move to bigger facilities comes at a good time for both Sun Valley School and the Ophelia Williamson Children’s Center, which were outgrowing their previous quarters.