Near East Area Renewal (NEAR) and Shepherd Community Center celebrated the opening of the childcare portion of the Minnie Hartmann Childcare Center, part of a project that was an accumulation of six years of planning. The former IPS School #78, the now Minnie Hartmann Center is an intergenerational shared site with a new full-day childcare center, as well as 64 units of affordable senior adult rentals. Intergenerational shared sites are places where children and senior adults receive services at the same site, where both generations interact in scheduled activities, as well as through informal encounters. The Shepherd Community Center will be operating the childcare center.
The new 11,000 square feet childcare center transformed 8 traditional classrooms into 10 early learning rooms and offices. The Center also provides interactive programs that engage children with seniors – the first of its kind in the state of Indiana. The facility on 3737 East Vermont Street is designed to serve 120 children in a few weeks but in compliance with COVID-19 protocols, the center will have significantly reduced occupancy. With a goal that all families should have access to state-of-the-art facilities, the Minnie Hartmann Center further increases the availability of early childcare education and is a commendable achievement for the Near Eastside.
The $1.8 million adaptive reuse project was made possible by NEAR, TWG Development, United Way of Central Indiana, The Riley Foundation, Colts Cares, anonymous donors, and almost $700,000 in community development block grant funds from the Department of Metropolitan Development.