Having access to preschool and kindergarten programs is a statewide need for parents, according to Sumner School District Elementary Executive Director Beth Dykman.
And early learning centers are a way to focus those programs in one place.
“(Early learning centers) are not brand new to the world, but it’s something more districts are moving toward,” Dykman said.
Now, Sumner School District will have their very own early learning center. The district broke ground on the 30,000-square-foot school on May 16.
“Early learning centers in general provide an opportunity to truly customize design for these young minds,” Superintendent Laurie Dent said at the groundbreaking. “When all learning activities are joined in one place, the students, the educators and the community benefit with a efficient and focused facility.”
Voters passed a $145.6 million Capital Projects Bond in 2016 which included the construction of an early learning center. It’ll be built behind Sumner Middle School on the southwest portion of campus.
The school will have 12 kindergarten classrooms and four preschool classrooms and will accommodate roughly 250 students ranging in ages 3 to 6 years old. The center is expected to open in fall 2019.
One of the unique features of the school will be an outdoor area with a children’s trike track, trees and a garden.
“Preschoolers and kindergartens are incredibly active and curious. So with this in mind, we’ve designed the early learning center with spaces that are conducive for exploring and interacting,” Dykman said. “An Integration of outdoor and indoor environments will allow children to interact with their peers and nature.”
The district will also be upgrading the track and field adjacent to the early learning center with a new synthetic turf and all-weather track that’s expected to open in September.