The Center for Early Education was founded in 1939 and has been located on its current site since 1946. The Center is a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, including toddlers through grade six – a ten year experience from start to finish. Having expanded incrementally over the years, the time arrived for the school to invest in its future on a site it had committed to remaining. The school purchased adjacent property and created a master plan that established the parameters of a three-and-a-half-year construction project to rebuild two-thirds of its existing campus and expand it. While doubling in size, the campus at completion will only have grown from one and a half acres to two and a half acres in a city where most elementary schools half their size reside on as many as five or six acres. Two new buildings attach to an existing third building to create a single four-story building. The rebuilt school will occupy 10,000 SF and house approximately 540 students and 110 faculty and staff members. The new campus includes a gymnasium, auditorium, classrooms for early education, lower, and upper elementary grades, STEAM classroom, labs and maker spaces, parent work, meeting, and social spaces, rooftop playgrounds, and a central play field – all on top of a 185-car subterranean parking garage. The project is a model of compact development as an urban campus in a rapidly urbanizing area of southern California.
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