ARKANSAS CITY, KAN. – Premium beef processor Creekstone Farms announced that on Oct. 18 it held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Walnut Valley Learning Center, its onsite 20,000-square-foot childcare facility, located next to its Arkansas City headquarters.

The center expects to accommodate more than 100 children of Creekstone Farms employees. In April, the meat producer stated the project would cost an estimated $3.5 million and sit on 3.5 acres. Hutton Construction from Wichita, Kan., partnered with Creekstone on the project.

“We look forward to welcoming the Kansas Department of Commerce, the media and the public to our grand opening event,” said Yoshi Takahashi, president and chief executive officer for Creekstone Farms. “Walnut Valley Learning Center is part of our ongoing commitment to support our employees and we are honored to help provide access to quality, affordable childcare.”

The company will cover the renovation costs to start the learning center, with employees paying a monthly fee to utilize the service.

The learning center will be a subsidiary of Creekstone Farms but will operate as a separate entity: the Walnut Valley Learning Center LLC. Creekstone said in April that the town of Arkansas City is providing tax incentives for the project. 

The center is part of the company’s efforts to bolster the benefits available to its employees, which number approximately 1,200. Creekstone also committed to increasing wages by 33% over the last three years. 

Creekstone recently expanded employee break areas and lunchrooms and expanded onsite hot foodservice offerings for workers.