SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Square One announced Friday they will be building a new facility at 947 Main Street, the former site where Square One once stood before the 2011 tornado.
Standing on the grounds of where the old building once stood, educators, children and political leaders came together Friday to announce the new facility. The building will include four preschool classrooms, a full-service family support center and administrative offices. The 26,000 square foot building will be developed by Davenport Square 1.
The project is expected to cost $10 million. So far, Mayor Sarno has committed nearly $1 million and State Representative Carlos Gonzalez along with State Senator Adam Gomez have secured $2 million to help fund the new facility.
“I am so appreciative of Square One’s continued and dedicated efforts to provide an outstanding, caring, safe, nurturing and educational environment for our children and their families,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “I am proud to continue to financially support this initiative to the tune of nearly $1 million. Pre-K education and work force development initiatives have been a hallmark issue for my administration.”
Dawn DiStefano is the President and CEO of Square One. She said since the tornado, they’ve had to lease space, “The community is really focused on the need for child care. If people are needing to go back to work, they need a place for their children to be and their families need the support services that we offer.”
They’re hoping to break ground this fall and open the new facility in January of 2025.
“The services that Square One provides across the City of Springfield are paramount for the development and care of the City’s youth. Advocating for the $2 million granted at the State level is the least that I could do to show my appreciation for the work that Square One does,” said Senator Gomez. “As a former Square One kid myself, you never know what the future holds for our youth, but they are all destined for greatness. The special funding announced today will be going towards a new building, which will broaden the range of Square One’s support for children and families in the community. It’s so important to ensure our investments are going where it counts — the next generation.”
“Early child care is an invaluable service for our children and working parents,” said Representative Gonzalez. “The $2 million for the construction of a new facility will be integral to expanding these essential services and closing the inner city student achievement gap.”