BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The Birmingham Housing Authority plans to transform an on-site day care center, at the old Loveman housing community into an early learning facility. The daycare center has been boarded up for years.
It’s all a part of the redevelopment of the Loveman Village property that will be renamed the “Villas at Titusville”. Two community centers are also being renovated there. They’re modeled after the Campus of Hope at Marks Village. They will offer residents job training, healthcare and more.
“Its critically important that we have not only transformation of the bricks and mortar but transformation of the families that we serve…connecting them to services that lead them beyond affordable housing as we know it,” Michael Lundy, Housing Authority Birmingham District President/CEO said.
The housing authority is partnering with Birmingham City Schools to help run the new early learning center. Grants and community partnerships will help fund the new additions.
Here’s more information on the new early learning center from HABD:
“The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) is pleased to announce plans to renovate the existing on-site daycare center in the former Loveman Village Public Housing Community, which is currently undergoing redevelopment and is now known as the Villas at Titusville located at 248 1st Street SW. HABD has received official notice that its request for a competitive $500,000 grant from the Housing Affordability Trust (HAT) was approved. HABD will fund the remaining estimated costs for the project of $500,000 through its capital improvements fund budget. Once complete, the facility will be renamed “Villas at Titusville: Early Childhood Development Program”.
HABD plans to renovate and reopen the facility to provide early childhood education that will serve affordable housing residents, as well as eligible children within the designated city school zone(s). The facility involves HABD’s partnership with Birmingham City Schools and would be primarily under the school board’s direction to provide valuable support to families with young children. Birmingham City Schools will build a curriculum and provide professional development training for effective teaching practices.
“This is exciting news for the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District,” said HABD President/CEO Michael O. Lundy. “Receiving the funding through this grant is greatly assisting HABD in realizing our vision to provide wraparound services for the residents of the new Villas at Titusville. What we want to create in the Villas at Titusville is similar to the Campus of Hope in Marks Village, which is modeled after HUD’s EnVision Center concept,” said Lundy. “The new early childhood development program is one part of our effort to develop another one-stop shop of supportive services for residents to give them the tools they need to improve their lives on their path towards self-sufficiency.”
The former daycare is a 4,000 square foot facility with 6 spacious classrooms, a commercial kitchen and administrative offices. It’ll be surrounded by green space which will be utilized for a new playground and learning gardens. The facility is also connected to a gymnasium and covered pavilion, which will be shared space for the early learning center and the community. The new facility will be painted a vibrant color scheme to make classrooms inviting and provoke creativity for students.
“Early childhood education provides scholars with a vital foundation for academic success,” said Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. “We are proud to partner with the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District to empower even our youngest learners to excel.”
Through a physical needs assessment, it was determined that the existing building, constructed in 1940, is structurally in good condition and primed for redevelopment. The extensive renovation plan includes replacement of mechanical and roofing systems, plus exterior and interior surface upgrades. The center will be renovated with sustainable materials consisting of no VOC paints, LED lighting, energy efficient roofing systems and recycled landscape materials for the playground. Upgrades will be made to address a number of things including skylights, the HVAC system, restrooms, ceiling tiles, insulation, the water heater and kitchen. The site will also require some asbestos abatement. The renovation is expected to be completed within 12 months.
HABD would like to express sincere gratitude to Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and HAT board members for their well-documented contribution to meeting the affordable housing needs in Birmingham and Jefferson County.”