PITTSBURG, Kans. — A southeast Kansas church wants to help its community on more than just Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Victory Life Church Pastor Donnie Talent wants to be able to serve not just his own congregation, but the entire Pittsburg area and not just two days a week.

“Phase One will give us the ability to open up about 52 childcare spots, with Phase Two we can add another 50, so we’ll be close to 90 to 95 childcare spots when both phases are open,” said Pastor Talent.

It will be called “Sonshine Childcare” and to accomplish this goal, the church has been undergoing a major renovation project. It takes away some of the existing worship area to make way for the plan, several rooms have been created to be turned into classrooms.

The other half of the plan is to add onto the existing church building to create the I.B.T. Autism Center. Dr. Paige Boydston says it will provide for a type of care not currently available in the Pittsburg area.

“A lot of families live a further distance away, it’s hard to find staffing in some rural areas, and then we also don’t get the benefit of our staff being to work together in a group environment, we can’t get the kids together quite as regularly so this is going to provide a lot of opportunity for that,” said Dr. Page Boydston, Integrated Behavioral Technologies Autism Center.

The creation of the center she feels will benefit both kids and her staff.

“It will give us some time to do some after-school programs with some of our older kids as well and get some social skills groups together and hopefully provide a really nice hub for a lot of our staff that work with us, who right now some of them don’t know each other because they’ve never met each other because they work with different clients,” said Dr. Boydston.

The Autism Center is expected to be up and running by early March with at least half of the childcare center renovated shortly thereafter.