The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) last week announced a $500,000 grant to renovate the existing on-site day care center in the former Loveman Village Public Housing Community.
The site, currently undergoing redevelopment, and now known as the Villas at Titusville is located at 300 1st Ave SW.
HABD received official notice that its request for the grant from the Housing Affordability Trust (HAT) was approved. HABD will fund the remaining $500,000 through its capital improvements fund budget.
The renovation is expected to be completed within 12 months. Once completed, the facility will be renamed “Villas at Titusville: Early Childhood Development Program”.
“This is exciting news,” 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.”
The goal is to create in the Villas at Titusville a site 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,” he said.
The new facility will be painted a vibrant color scheme to make classrooms inviting and provoke creativity for students.
Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, said the program will benefit city students.
“Early childhood education provides scholars with a vital foundation for academic success,” said Herring. “We are proud to partner with the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District to empower even our youngest learners to excel.”
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.
The former day care is a 4,000 square foot facility with six 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.
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.