STRASBURG — When Jody and Nick Neff bought the Signal Knob Recreation Center in June of 2019, their vision was to always provide an outlet for the community.
More than a year later after purchasing the facility at 35 Brandy Court for more than $3 million, they’re continuing to expand the building’s functions as the couple has recently added The Nest, a day care center for ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.
“When the pandemic hit, we were in need of child care,” Jody Neff said. “The facility that we were previously using closed its doors, and we needed some structure. So, we decided to see if we could do this ourselves.”
She hired Katelynn Adolphson to serve as the day care’s director and they opened the doors to The Nest in late October.
“It really went together. We had the space here,” Jody Neff said. “In years past we’d talked about opening a child care center, but we couldn’t find a location and I couldn’t find a director. This was just good timing.”
The day care center started in one room and has since expanded to a larger room and will also include an infant room.
The center is still accepting children. More information and rates can be found at www.thenestdaycare.com.
Jody Neff said she decided on opening the day care center to help those who were searching for child care, like herself. She added that since the center is a non-profit business, all funds will be put back into the rec center.
“I wanted to do this for parents who were up a creek like we were and needed something,” she said. “There were a lot of desperate parents out there that needed a place. That was really the driving force for us, to give parents an option.”
Security systems have been put in place to keep the day care center separated from the general public and all staff members are fingerprinted, background checked and are CPR certified, she said.
The Nest will host an open house on Dec. 5 for potential parents to tour.
The child care center is the most recent in a long list of services that Signal Knob Recreation Center offers, she said.
The facility features an Olympic-size pool downstairs where they’re hosting about 25 swim meets this winter. Local teams have also been using the basketball courts, too. Additionally, gym rentals, memberships for the weight room and pool, swim lessons, bounce house parties and day passes are available, among other services.
The center also offers transportation to and from local schools and the couple bought a bus that provides that service.
“It’s continued to grow. We keep adding things on to the facility,” Jody Neff said. “There’s a lot of space here, so we’re trying to do as much as we can.”
She said the staff is working to keep the community updated with all of the center’s happenings.
“A lot of people, when they come in here for birthday parties and things, they don’t realize how much we can actually do here,” she said. “We’ve always known about it, so it shocks us that we have a ginormous building in town that people drive past and go in and out of and have no clue what’s actually here and what we have to offer.”
Both Jody and Nick Neff continue to work other full-time jobs in addition to running the rec center, managing the child care center and operating Five Alarm Fun, which provides bounce house and party rentals.
At the end of the day, the couple said they continue to keep up with it all to provide smiles and fun to kids in the community.
“The kids that come in, they love it. Nick and I live our lives for our children, so everything we do we do to benefit them. We love the joy that all the kids get by coming here,” Jody Neff said. “To get the kids active and involved and for them to have the ability to go and get some exercise is a huge benefit. A lot of times, there will be kids who come just to hang out and use the facility. The parents can use the gym while their kids are practicing. It’s good for the whole family.”