Child care program to shut down after code violations - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Child care program to shut down after code violations

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Story by Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter

HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -- Emily Nasca has been reading to her class of three-year-olds for the last four years, but weeks from now, the kids may listen to stories somewhere else.

That's because the church where she holds her child care program, is violating a number of fire codes.

"This has grown and grown and I have been part of this the entire time and it has been amazing. To know it could be over in just a few weeks is sickening," says Nasca.

Inspectors say the church has inadequate fire exits, no sprinkler system, and needs to replace windows with fireproof glass.

The fire department gave the church 90 days to correct most of the violations, but altogether, the price tag on these upgrades adds up to more than $100,000.

Chattanooga Fire Chief Randy Parker says the department caught scrutiny over the decision, but he says safety is always first.

"When you see issues like that and major code violations you have to address them and that's what we did," says Parker.

Parents weren't too happy over the decision.

Angel Houg has been here for three months and says as a working parent she doesn't have a lot of time to start looking for another child care center.

"We were shocked because we love the program and we checked out several different places before we chose here. We feel it is very safe" says Houg.

The church board passed the vote to discontinue the program citing the changes would be a financial hardship.

Nasca says she knows she isn't the only facility hit with expensive fixes.

The program has over 100 kids registered and the director says she may not like the decision to shut down, but safety is always first.

All hope is not lost.

Nasca says other churches have offered to lend their facilities to the program in hopes to keep it alive.

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