Doors Open for Young Minds: Lehman and CUNY Dedicate Unique New Child Care Center

To give more students the opportunity to attend college—by providing convenient child care facilities—dignitaries from across the city and state of New York cut the ribbon on Lehman College’s new Child Care Center.

Lehman College and the City University of New York dedicated the Center on Thursday, September 26, 2013, opening new doors for young minds. The new Center accommodates 120 children of Lehman College students, twice the capacity of the previous center.

“This building is much more than a classroom,” said President Ricardo R. Fernández. “These children have the unique opportunity to benefit from the physical beauty of the Lehman campus while receiving outstanding educational enrichment. Similarly, their parents have the chance to explore all that Lehman College has to offer academically, socially, and culturally.”

Children participate in a program rich with experiences in art, music, science, language arts, and math, with plenty of room for nurturing individual interests. The philosophy is to create an environment where children’s growth is supported and stimulated while giving their parents the opportunity to complete college.

Representing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was Patricia Lewis, Regional Manager, New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Child Care Services. “It is so exciting to watch your plans for a new facility take shape and come into being,” said Ms. Lewis. “The early years are so important in a child’s development. Children need a space to play and to learn, and that is what this new setting will provide.”

The 12,000 square foot center was designed by Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects and built by Axis Construction. It is a modular facility with six classrooms, a multipurpose room, terraces designed to grow greenery, an atrium with an open stairway, skylights offering a natural ventilation system, and other features. The Center was assembled from 22 prefabricated modules—each weighing 18 tons—and hoisted into place with a 600-ton crane. Click here to learn more about the center’s unique modular construction. The $6.3 million structure was built with funding from New York State capital funds.

“This process truly exemplifies CUNY’s mission in action,” said Iris Weinshall, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management. “To create beautiful and sustainable architecture that serves the interests of our students and our communities. And to think forward – to embrace the technologies and innovations that will create the landscape of our future city.”

“Modular design is innovative, it’s creative, and is hitting its strides in New York City,” Ms. Weinshall continued. “We’re so pleased that Lehman was open to using this process. It feels like a perfect fit of timing and opportunity.

View or download photos of the construction and ribbon-cutting here.

“We have long needed a larger facility to meet the child care needs of our students,” said Vice President of Student Affairs José Magdaleno, who hosted the ribbon-cutting event. “This beautiful new building will support student success at the College by providing affordable child care to students who need this assistance to pursue their educational goals.”

Lehman was one of the first CUNY colleges to open a child care center, in 1971, which moved to a larger facility in 1985.