Ossining Children’s Center Looks to Develop New $17M Building
John Jordan | August 2018
OSSINING—The Ossining Children’s Center has unveiled a nearly $17-millon development plan that calls for the construction of a new 27,000-square-foot building that will enable the center to consolidate its programs under one roof.
Located at 32 State St. in Downtown Ossining, the planned building would replace operations currently housed at two 120-year-old buildings OCC owns on South Highland Avenue, as well as space it rents at a nearby church. The organization plans to sell its two-existing owned-properties on South Highland Avenue to help fund the $16.8 million project.
The new 2.5-acre site, bounded by commercial properties, was acquired for $1.8 million and donated to OCC by an unnamed long-time benefactor. An existing building on the site has been removed. The new building would house all of OCC’s current programs while meeting the growing need for infant, toddler, preschool and after-school care in Ossining. The projected enrollment for the new facility is 200-222 children. OCC’s current enrollment is 148.
“With a larger, fully equipped and centrally located building, we can attract and accommodate a broad range of families from the wider community,” said OCC Executive Director Howard Milbert. “This will not only improve our financial outlook but also strengthen our capabilities and diversity.”
OCC officials note that the new building and operations consolidation will help secure the 123-year-old, community-based organization’s financial future while meeting the growing demand for childcare programs, preschool, educational enrichment and services to families.
They add that, if approved, the new building would offer numerous benefits to the community, including having childcare available to all income levels that will help enable parents to maintain steady employment.
Having the facility downtown will also help anchor the State Street neighborhood, bring increased economic activity and create job opportunities for local residents. A new, high-profile childcare center in the village would also help attract parents from the wider community., OCC officials stated.
The new three-story building will include nine classrooms, five toddler and infant rooms, four outdoor play areas, staff and administrative offices, a multi-purpose room, conference room and kitchen. There will be 22 on-site parking spaces for parents, staff and visitors. Additional parking will be secured at a nearby off-site location. OCC is currently working to raise funds for the project and has significant donations already in place, the organization stated in a press announcement.
Designed by KG&D Architects of Mount Kisco, the building is designed to contextually fit in with the adjacent “cottage” professional office buildings on State Street. The front building includes a wrap-around porch similar to the original building on the site. The balance of the school is two stories with a lower level that takes advantage of the sloping property.
OCC’s decision to develop a new building was prompted by several significant challenges it faces including that the center considers its current facilities as “well-worn, obsolete and does not match the high-quality of its programs.” OCC also notes that due to the lack of space, every year OCC turns away dozens of families who need infant care.
An initial presentation of the plan was made to the Ossining Village Planning Board on Aug. 28, and a public hearing is expected to be scheduled. No special zoning or variances are required.
OCC has been serving the Ossining community since 1895, providing high-quality childcare—from infants through sixth grade.