Franklin Pierce Schools received $2 million from capital budget for Early Learning Center
Franklin Pierce School District received a $2 million allocation for the new Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center in the capital budget approved by the Washington State Legislature and signed by Governor Inslee on Tuesday, June 30.
Franklin Pierce School District has begun renovation of the former Parkland United Methodist Church at 12223 A Street South that the district acquired last school year. The renovated building will become the district’s permanent Early Learning Center, serving the educational needs of approximately 350 pre-Kindergarten students. The program comprises Head Start, ECEAP, community preschool, and developmental preschool. Kindergarten readiness is widely regarded as a vital indicator to a child’s success throughout their educational experience through high school and beyond.
Renovation work on the 20,478 square foot Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center will continue through the summer, with an expected opening of September 2015.
The total cost of the project is $7 million, and includes bringing the 60-year-old building up to current code, meeting all education programming requirements, new plumbing, new electrical, new HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) mechanical systems, new windows and insulation, and the installation of an elevator. The property will also include new parking, landscaping, and a secure playground area for students.
“We know that early learning programs are vital in helping many students – some of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds – enter Kindergarten ready to learn at the Kindergarten level. Without early learning programs like those offered by our Early Learning Center, many students would enter Kindergarten with a level of readiness that is below that of their peers, and they would struggle to catch up. The Early Learning Center and the programs it houses are game-changers for these kids and the community, and we are grateful for the Legislature’s support,” said Dr. Frank Hewins, Superintendent of Franklin Pierce Schools.