Dirt flew in all directions last week as excited preschoolers wearing pint-sized hard hats wielded miniature shovels to help break ground for The Childhood League Center’s (CLC) new building.
The event launched construction of a new, LEED-certified 41,000 sq. ft. modern and accessible CLC facility at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Campus near downtown Columbus. It is expected to open for the 2016-17 school year, nearly doubling both the space of the current location and the number of children CLC can serve.
CLC is a licensed early childhood intervention program. For 70 years, the Center has provided educational and therapeutic services essential for at-risk, developmentally delayed and special needs children under age six. Without services, these children are at greatest risk of being left behind academically once they enter public or private school.
Finance Fund provided nearly $10.6 million in federal and state New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing to the project which is located in a qualified high-distress, low-income census tract with a poverty rate of 40%. The project will create 72 construction jobs, retain 49 current staff positions and add 18 new jobs. Capital One, the investor, provided an additional $2 million in federal NMTC allocation to the project.
CLC partners with all 16 Columbus City School Districts to meet the growing demand for services for at-risk and special needs children. Among the children served by the Center, 90% have been diagnosed with developmental delays related to a medical condition such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or alcohol and drug exposure. Nearly half were born prematurely. About two-thirds of CLC students live in poverty.
In the first three years of operation in the new school, CLC anticipates a 57% increase in the number of special needs students served. Currently, nearly 450 children participate in the program each year. The Center also promotes positive parenting skills as well as healthy nutrition and physical health.
Finance Fund’s investment enables the new Childhood League Center to prepare children to reach their full potential. By the time they enter kindergarten, 65% of children who received services from the Center will no longer qualify for specialized services, according to CLC.
If you have questions or would like further information about this project or the NTMC program, please contact me at email@example.com.