North Star Learning Centers, Inc. broke ground on the new construction of a state of the art, 17,500 SF early childhood education center on December 7th. The center is design to serve young children with a range of developmental needs, especially those having experienced homelessness or foster care and other special needs children requiring extra support in in order to thrive. The new building will replace two outdated, cramped facilities and allow NorthStar to provide 135 slots for infants and toddlers from low-income families in New Bedford. The building will also serve as a Community Center on evenings and weekends. The commercial kitchen will be available for events, trainings and food entrepreneurs. The kitchen and gross motor space are designed to be open and usable as a large maker space/exhibit space that will serve the community in numerous ways, including hosting professional development training for early childhood educators from throughout the region, parent groups and gatherings, art exhibits and a range of other activities. An outside play area will also be open to the community.
Affirmative Investments, Inc. secured $11 million of NMTC Allocation from the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, a $500,000 loan from Children’s Hospital, and $5.5 million of loans from the Property & Casualty Initiative. Other funding was provided by came from the City of New Bedford and private donors.