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Why did Eureka Kids cross the road? To double in size

Eureka Kids, a Rochester child-care facility at 3675 Ninth St. NW, will double its capacity this fall after acquiring and remodeling an empty building, across Ninth Street from its current complex.

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ROCHESTER — Planning out a major expansion is often a challenge for businesses.

However, sometimes you just need to look across the street to come across a "eureka" moment.

That’s how it worked out for Mangesh Mane and his wife, Hema Sai Kishore.

In 2018, they built and opened Eureka Kids , a Rochester child-care facility at 3675 Ninth St. NW, tucked away off of West Circle Drive. The 7,600-square-foot complex opened with just two children and it has since completely filled up to care for 96 preschool children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old.

“People have found us mostly through word of mouth,” said Kishore. “And we still get inquiries every day.”

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Eureka Kids was not the only operation flourishing on Ninth Street Northwest.

The Rochester Center for Children, founded under the name of Rochester Center for Autism, outgrew its building at 3640 Ninth St. NW in 2021. The center purchased the larger Palladium Office Plaza at 1811 Greenview Place SW and made a move.

That move left an empty building across Ninth Street from Eureka Kids.

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“It was sitting idle for 10 months, when we thought maybe we could grab it. It just happened,” said Mane.

They purchased it for $1.6 million on May 15. Construction work has already begun to adapt the building to the needs of Eureka Kids.

Once the 3640 building is remodeled, it will allow Eureka to care for up to 107 more children as well as launch a school-age childcare program for 15 kids for before and after school.

Kishore and Mane are hoping to have the additional building ready for use by August or September. To staff it, they expect to double the size of their team from 24 employees to about 48.

Eureka will continue to be led by Director Amanda Drazkowski, who continues to use the SMARTER curriculum created by Kishore and Mane. It incorporates the STEAM education approach of introducing children to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. It also feature physical activities like soccer and yoga.

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“Diversity and inclusion are now a larger focus for us. That is what is needed to create a thriving world at this point, said Mane, who recently left her full-time job at Mayo Clinic to help manage Eureka Kids.

Eureka now serves Rochester-based families from Israel, Japan, Singapore and India. A family from Iceland will soon add to the mix.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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