Franklin Countys First News

UMF selects architect for new Early Childhood Education Center

Building located at 274 Front Street in Farmington to be renovated for new UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Childhood Education Center.

FARMINGTON - The University of Maine at Farmington announced this week that it has entered into a contract with CHA Architecture for the design of the new UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Childhood Education Center.

The new center will be located in the former NotifyMD call center building at 274 Front Street in Farmington. The building's purchase was approved by the Board of Trustees in January for $849,000 plus closing costs.  After design and structural changes, the 10,384 square-foot building will provide space for children in Sweatt-Winter’s early childhood programs. Those programs, which also benefit more than 200 UMF students preparing to be early childhood educators, are currently located in the Ricker Addition building.

“Sweatt-Winter has been an important resource for families in our community and our students preparing for careers in education for over 30 years,” said Katherine Yardley, UMF associate provost and dean of education, health and rehabilitation. “It serves Maine by providing high quality care and education for area children, while serving as an exceptional field placement for early childhood and early childhood special education majors who will become the next teachers and educational leaders in early childhood programs and schools."

A building committee will continue to work together to assess building needs and review the design throughout the construction process. Currently in discussion, the project timeline for the new center will include all phases of design, bidding and construction.

“We are so proud of what we do every day to provide high-quality, affordable childcare and early education at a time when this service is of critical importance to families,” said Julie Farmer, director of UMF children’s programs. “We are thrilled with the promise of a new facility and to have a space where our programs can continue to grow.”

Matthew Pitzer, CHA architecture practice leader, will be the lead for the project.

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2 Responses »

  1. This looks more like a business building then anything else. I think if I were designing this building I'd have a pitched roof dormer entrance and make a half brick wall like most primary schools with railings for the kids to hold onto. Maybe a couple sets of bicycle racks out front.

  2. Over taxed Farmington property owners get the shaft every time property is gobbled up by the bogus education industry. Take note of the properties NOT PAYING TAXES in Farmington. These business interests, yes UMF, is a business, as is the hospital. How much do the “educators” and administration types get paid to warm a seat until they find a better opportunity in places like “New Jersey“ ? By not holding the towns mangers responsible, you are choking out the tax income stream and passing the tab to property owners. How much do the little darlings from away pay to attend this liberal fount of knowledge while skewing the vote in your community and staggering into traffic on main street?