Fast-growing Gypsum church ready to expand its existing daycare facilities |

Fast-growing Gypsum church ready to expand its existing daycare facilities

The new facility will accommodate 40 kids

Gypsum's Connect Church is nearly ready to open Connect Care, a childcare facility in the Airport Gateway area.
Scott Miller/Vail Daily

The former mortuary building in Gypsum’s Airport Gateway area is about to start a new chapter.

The building, which had been abandoned for a couple of years, will soon open as Connect Care, a child care center operated by Gypsum’s Connect Church. The new facility has 40 spots for children 5 and younger. The center also has eight infant care spots. That’s in addition to the spots already available — including four for infants — at the Connect Church, located on Oak Ridge Court, just south of the town’s post office.

The church itself has been holding services for a few years now, but just last year moved into a new building that was built in just three months. Pastor Hector Gonzalez and his wife, Rachel, had big plans for the church, and those projects have accelerated in the past several months.

The church in November of 2022 bought the old mortuary, a tall task in itself. The purchase took all of the Gonzalezes’ life savings, and a bit of help from Eagle County.

Hector and Rachel Gonzalez of Gypsum’s Connect Church.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily archive

Eagle County Human Services Director Megan Burch said the initial outreach about the building came from the listing agent. Burch said the agent was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of Eagle’s Mountain Tots child care facility.

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The church needed some help with the down payment, and the clock was ticking to secure a bank loan for the facility. The county contributed a $100,000 grant to the effort, and will receive a number of priority spots for county employees. That grant was a significant part of giving Connect the time to finalize financing.

While buying the building was a chore, the real work started after closing the deal.

Hector Gonzalez said the building was gutted for its new role. But it also needed a lot of work. The structure had been abandoned for a couple of years, and water in the pipes froze. In addition, the building had sunk nearly a foot on its foundation.

“A lot of people thought we wouldn’t be able to do anything (with the building),” Gonzalez said. But now, the facility is nearly finished, with opening set for the week of May 1. It could be the most up-to-date facility in the area, he added.

The center will open both with a facility full of kids and a full staff. All the staff members are state-licensed. Prices should fall into the “middle range” for child care, Gonzalez said. And there’s always work to do to find grants for lower-income families.

“We strive to be the best in all we do,” Gonzalez said.

That expansion of the church’s service includes immigration services, including asylum, visas and humanitarian services.

Gonzalez handles immigration services, and is an “accredited representative” for those services. That means he’s legally able to represent clients in federal administrative hearings. As busy as the church’s operations are becoming, Gonzalez has given up his former position in Vail Health’s cardiac catheterization lab.

Those services are in addition to holding services in both English and Spanish.

“We’re breaking attendance records every other week,” Gonzalez said.

Child care is one of the county’s biggest needs, and one of the Board of County Commissioners’ top strategic priorities to support the local workforce. Connect Care is just one of several facilities receiving some support from the county.

“We’re happy to work with partners,” Burch said. “We’re trying to find ways to address early childhood care.”

Learn more about Connect Care on

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