Officials announced on Tuesday the Winter Park day care where a car crashed through a wall, killing one child and injuring more than a dozen others, will reopen next week.
KinderCare Learning Center officials say they will "begin welcoming children, families and teachers back to our center Monday."
Lilies and annuals line the front of the day care on Goldenrod Road, hiding the thick structural steel and cement that now form a solid barrier all the way around the facility.
Five planters are placed strategically along the front of the daycare at the corner of Goldenrod Rd. and University Boulevard. In the middle of each concrete planter are 2 steel pipes, also filled with cement.
On April 9, a Toyota Solara ploughed so deep into the building that it could not be seen from the street. Troopers say the driver jumped the curb, crossed the parking lot, rode up over the sidewalk, crashed through the front playroom, and came to a rest in a back room.
4-year-old Lily Quintus was killed in the crash. Troopers say two other children were also hit by the car and several other children were hurt by debris. 13 children and one adult in all were injured in the accident.
"We installed reinforced concrete planters in front of our Goldenrod center and other traffic barriers along the sides of the building to provide peace of mind that this won't happen again," said Colleen Moran of Knowledge Universe.
Metal and wood barriers line one side of the playground while tall poles block the other. Heavy concrete balls sit on the sidewalk outside the front entrance.
After the crash, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs directed her staff to look at all day cares within the county to see if they need similar reinforcements.
“Inside, we've made every effort to create a familiar, comforting environment for our children and families to return to,” said Moran. “At the same time, to ease them into the transition back to the center, we've made a few updates to our classrooms to give everything a refreshed feel while still ensuring that children's artwork and personal items are in their usual places.”
Robert Corchado has been charged with pushing the Toyota towards the daycare and leaving the scene of the accident. He is in the Orange County jail.