Construction to begin in 2009 on new child care center

University Park, Pa. — When Penn State President Graham Spanier announced plans to build a new child care center at University Park, he noted that the project "is an enormous commitment on the part of the University and is another example of the University's efforts to create a more family-friendly environment for faculty, staff and students." With the center scheduled to open in July 2010, an architect for the project has been selected and construction is scheduled to begin during summer 2009. 

The new center, to be named the Hort Woods Child Care Center, will be built on the southeast corner of North Allen Street and Park Avenue and will serve approximately 170 children of University employees and students. When space permits, the center will be open to children of members of the community as well. 
The center will be sited in a way that maintains and protects the Hort Woods on campus. It will be operated using a mixed-age group philosophy and will include 80 children 6 weeks to 35 months old and 90 children who are 36 months to 72 months old. The Hort Woods Child Care Center will be affiliated with the College of Health and Human Development and operated by a leading, high-quality child care management provider.  

The University has selected Hildebrandt Learning Centers LLC (HLC), a privately held Pennsylvania-based company that manages 38 employer-sponsored child care centers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia. Their college and university centers include Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall colleges and Princeton University. The company was selected because of its proven track record in providing quality child care and its positive partnerships with employers and parents for more than 18 years. Hildebrandt also will provide consulting in support of the design process for the building.

The University plans to work closely with HLC to create programs comparable in every essential aspect to the programs currently offered by the Child Development Laboratory and the Bennett Family Center on campus. The University also will collaborate with HLC to facilitate the use of the center for research and undergraduate and graduate training. In keeping with the University’s commitment to high-quality child care, the center will meet the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for accreditation.

Horizons Design/Michael Lindstrom Associates of Brookline, Mass., has been named the architect for the facility. One of the leading design groups in the field, they have been involved in the creation of more than 100 unique children's environments in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan, and provide a full range of design services for early care and education. In addition to providing a world-class learning environment for the children, the project will emphasize sustainable design principles and work toward a Gold LEED certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Current plans call for children and staff of the Child Development Laboratory (CDL) in Henderson Building to transfer to the new Hort Woods Child Care Center when it is open for operation in July/August 2010. Because the new facility will accommodate more than three times the number of children currently in the CDL, enrollment information for the Hort Woods Child Care Center will be made available early in 2010.
 

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Last Updated March 19, 2009