Fort Myers day care finds temporary home after hit-and-run crash

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Put Them First Academy is back on its feet after a reckless driver crashed into the building on Michigan Avenue that used to house the day care.

It’s been an uphill battle for owner Lorna Washington and her staff since the Oct. 21 crash.

“It has been a whirlwind,” said Washington. “Every day we were on the quest of looking for a building, in the meantime fielding calls from all our clients about what was happening, what was next.”

The 24/7 day care was without a building for more than a week, losing clients in the process. But Washington persevered, and found a temporary home in an empty building on Carver Avenue, just a mile away.

“The Early Learning Coalition, DCF and the City of Fort Myers have helped us get back in business within 12 days which is almost impossible to do,” said Washington. “It felt great, it was such a relief.”

The building formerly used by the day care has deemed unsafe, and Washington says they have no plans of moving back in.

“It suffered severe structural damage. So based on what type of repairs that has to be done, that might be a long process. And of course, the only way we’re in business, is if we have children and we’re operating in a building.”

The day care is still looking for a permanent home. Washington says they’re looking at a spot on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that they hope to be able to move into within the next 90 days.

Fort Myers police have not made any arrests in connection with the crash.

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