Urban Strategies, with the St. Louis Housing Authority and McCormack Baron Salazar, will break ground on an innovative community facility that will provide childcare, education and training in North City.
Development of the I. Jerome and Rosemary Flance Early Childhood Education Center at Murphy Park will officially begin on Friday, March 1 with a ceremonial groundbreaking event at the construction site.
Slated to open in early 2014, the Flance Center will offer care and education for 154 children through a core curriculum focused on developing the emotional, social, cognitive and physical health of children from birth through age five. The income-integrated facility will also serve as a training and education hub for current and future providers of childcare from the surrounding community.
“The development of a center of this kind injects a variety of opportunities for families in this community,” said Tammika Hubbard, 5th Ward alderwoman.
“In addition to increased access to high-quality early education for our children, the Flance Center will offer family-based programming and will bring focused skills training and employment for adults.”
Plans for the Flance Center feature a 23,800 square foot LEED-certified facility with 13 classrooms for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and a health suite for onsite wellness checks and immunizations.
Brinkmann Constructors and MBE/Section 3 firm Simms Building Group serve as the general contractors on the project. Site work is already underway and construction is scheduled to take approximately 10 months.
In collaboration with community organizations and the development team, Hubbard hosted a Workforce Opportunity Fair on February 5 to engage residents and promote the range of jobs that will be made available as a result of the development, from construction to administrators and child care workers.
“The Flance Center partners have shown full commitment to minority and Section 3 participation, and to ensuring a diverse workforce,” Hubbard said. “We will continue to monitor and encourage participation throughout construction and as Center staff is put in place.”