Child care center to address campus needs in unique setting

University Park, Pa, — Addressing the University Park campus community's need for additional child care, the Penn State Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 22) approved final plans for and the naming of a new child care center.

The Gary Schultz Child Care Center at Hort Woods will accommodate up to 170 children in a new 21,500-square-foot facility on the corner of Park Avenue and Allen Road, adjacent to Hort Woods.

"This unique setting will provide a great opportunity to teach young children to value, care for and appreciate the natural environment," said Al Horvath, senior vice president for finance and business.

Trustees approved naming the building in honor of Gary C. Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business emeritus, who retired from the University in 2009.
Horvath said the new center will replace the Child Development Laboratory in Henderson South, which will be eliminated as part of a future addition to that building.

The two-floor building, with a total projected budget of $11 million, will be completed in spring 2011. The center, designed by architectural firm Horizons Design, features a brick, copper and painted aluminum exterior.

To view an artist's rendering of the planned Gary Schultz Child Care Center at Hort Woods, go to http://live.psu.edu/image/26338.

First floor space includes 10 classrooms for infants and toddlers, shared and common space, a play area, library and outdoor patios, as well as teacher workrooms, a kitchen, laundry, administrative offices and service spaces.

The second floor includes five classrooms for pre-school children, teacher workrooms, library space, laundry and storage.
Horvath noted that children will have access to about 21,000 square feet of enclosed and secure outdoor play spaces, with a playground design unique to the natural setting. Sand and water play areas, natural boulders and a playhouse are included to foster creativity.

Parents will be able to park in the existing lot on Allen Road, adjacent to the center's front door, with a new lot entrance and re-aligned lot exit to provide efficient pick up and drop off. Staff will park in the nearby Nittany Deck.

The new facility will be carefully situated on an existing parking lot and within the footprint of an existing, unoccupied building, which will be eliminated as part of the project. Horvath said this strategy will minimize the impact on the mature oak trees in the area.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010