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LACA gives colorful welcome to facility’s furnishings

Leo Augusta, new furniture, Blooming Prairie, steele county
Teachers and staff members at Leo Augusta Children’s Academy hold the bright signs they used to welcome the truck with the facility’s furnishings. Two semis delivered the furniture from Lakeshore Learning for the classrooms. In the front, from left, are Daysha Zilm, Madi Lubbert, Hailey Naatz, Kaylee Chick, Josie Mueller, Audrea Horejsi and Doug Anderson. In the back, from left, are Kim Routh, Whittney McCamish (partially hidden), Tammy Jax, Karri Skow and Katie Crabtree. Staff photo by Kay Fate
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

Now all they need are the kids.

The Leo Augusta Children’s Academy (LACA) last week welcomed two semi-trucks full of furniture, one of the last things on the list before the facility that specializes in “children’s care and development” opens in Blooming Prairie.

“I have never been welcomed like this, never seen anything like it,” one of the crew from Lakeshore Furniture said while wheeling in yet another crate.

He was talking about the dozen or so staff members who lined the driveway of the building at 824 Center Ave. N., the former Minimizer headquarters. They were holding colorful signs that indicated the level of excitement about the new facility, which will provide hands-on care and development for up to 100 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years.

“That was so cute,” said Mariana Grillo, who was directing the delivery and installation. She works for the Lakeshore Learning Store in Maplewood and was stationed at the front door to make sure each container got to the appropriate classroom.

The business provided what it calls its “White Glove Service,” meaning the crew of about 15 not only unloaded the furniture and delivered it, but also unboxed it all, assembled it and hauled away the garbage.

“We just wanted to make sure it was all put together correctly,” said Doug Anderson, executive director of LACA, “and it allows our staff to do what they need to do” within the classrooms.

With the delivery, seven of the eight classrooms have been outfitted. The classroom that’s located in the gymnasium building is about a month behind, Anderson said.

The last steps before opening include final inspections and licensing by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The facility remains on schedule to open sometime this month.

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