January 04, 2013
After a two-year renovation of the historic Washington school at 223 South Shields St., the Colorado State University Early Childhood Center opened its doors on Jan. 7.
This renewed building houses a full-day, full-year program serving children six weeks to six years of age. Space for children of all ages is available now, and enrollment for the current year is ongoing. The center serves CSU employees and students and also is open to families in the Fort Collins community. Child-care tuition scholarships are currently available for CSU student parents through grant funding and gifts and efforts are underway to fund scholarships for other families in need as well.
As the lab school for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Applied Human Sciences, the ECC has been in existence for more than 80 years, training university students as early childhood professionals and providing state-of-the-art care and education to preschoolers. The ECC also serves as a campus resource for research and discovery into child and family development and early childhood education, and children within its care benefit from the latest innovations in early childhood education and care. Accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and as a member of the National Coalition for Campus Child Care, the ECC has an outstanding local and national reputation.
The Washington school is a former elementary school located near the northwest corner of CSU’s campus. The Washington school opened in 1919 and served as the elementary lab school in Poudre School District for many years. In 1929, the CSU Early Childhood Center opened as the Child Development Laboratory School at CSU. During the early years of the 20th century, the foundational beginnings of the scientific study of early childhood development and education also began.
Lise Youngblade, HDFS department head, reflects “This project represents a truly poetic synergy captured by the wedding of these parallel journeys through almost 100 years of history. We are very fortunate to move into the future with this very solid foundation.”
In relocating to the renovated Washington school, the ECC gains 12,000 square feet of space, expanding it from three classrooms to seven classrooms, and moves from current playground space of 6,500 square feet to space three times that size. State-of-the-art learning and teaching practices are implemented throughout the building.
The $4.6 million building renovation was funded through support from CSU students through the student-directed University Facility Fee Advisory Board. Funding also was provided by CSU, the College of Applied Human Sciences, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and a number of foundations and private donors. A second-phase fundraising campaign for a state-of-the-art outdoor learning environment and playground will begin this spring.
A grand opening celebration will be held Saturday, March 9. Applications for Fall 2013 will be accepted starting March 1. For more information about the center, visit www.ecc.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-7082.
Contact: Karen Rattenborg