by Mike Knaak
The St. Cloud school district’s newest building, Quarryview Education Center, is now open as the new home for early childhood and community education programs.
Since the Roosevelt fire in 2014, the programs have moved around the district. For example the early child program was housed at Colts Academy in St. Joseph and Discovery Community School in Waite Park.
The 68,000-square-foot building cost $15 million.
“This is the finest early childhood facility in the state,” said John Meyer, project manager for RA Morton.
The community education and adult basic education section of the building features eight classrooms with multimedia screens and equipment for distance learning.
The computer lab offers 30 PC workstations and there’s a computer-equipped teacher workroom.
Community education programs serve about 2,500 people a year.
The early childhood family education wing section children from birth to age 5 and their parents.
Four child classrooms and three parent classrooms line one hallway.
A library separates the parent/child rooms from the preschool wing with its nine classrooms.
In addition to the classrooms, there are two gyms for preschoolers to learn large- and small-motor skills.
Outside the preschool wing, there’s a fenced in area that includes a bicycle track and playground equipment.
Throughout the building, large windows let in natural light and room lights can be dimmed to match the natural light.
The early childhood family education program serves about 720 parents and 800 students per year. The preschool program serves about 480 children.
Ouarryview is at 800 Seventh St. S. in Waite Park, just west of Discovery.
“We have a great program and staff, now we have a building,” said Julie Midas, director of early childhood education. “This was the last missing piece.”