Boston – Kaplan Construction has been selected to fit out a 40,000sf early childhood center and headquarters for Horizons for Homeless Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young homeless children and their families. Construction is expected to start this spring and be completed in early 2021.
Located at 1785 Columbus Ave. in Roxbury and designed by studioMLA Architects, the new early childhood center will consolidate three existing centers into one. Serving 225 children ranging in age from 2 months to 5 years, it will include a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activity space, a family library and literacy center, flexible community and training space, and an art room.
The project team members for this project include developer Watermark Development Inc. and MEP engineer AHA Engineers.
Indoor and outdoor spaces will incorporate trauma-informed design strategies to better serve children and families living in difficult situations. Two outdoor play areas totaling 10,000sf were designed with the help of an occupational therapist and will be constructed on dedicated above-ground surfaces. Kaplan will only be able to access the space from street level and will take on the added challenge of having to clear a 10-foot-high wall over the roof’s parapet.
The early childhood center will be a part of the 140,000sf Horizons Center, a unique public/private joint venture that will create a single and accessible home for social services agencies dedicated to transforming the education, health, and well-being of at-risk children and families in Boston. The venture is a significant investment in the Roxbury community, and will bring approximately 400 new jobs to the Jackson Square area.
“We are very excited to expand our reach and provide services to more children and their families in a space expressly designed for the needs of families experiencing homelessness,” said Kate Barrand, CEO of Horizons for Homeless Children. “Kaplan has a long and successful history of building quality childcare centers for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. They really understand our mission and how our spaces will be used.”
With more than 15 childcare projects in its portfolio, Kaplan has worked on both new construction and renovation projects for early education clients, including multiple centers for Bright Horizons Family Solutions and the Center for Partnership in Early Education in Brookline.