FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington is excited to announce 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 was purchased with the support of the University Workforce Bond approved by Maine voters in November 2018.

After needed design and structural changes, the 10,384 square-foot building will create an enhanced learning environment for children in Sweatt-Winter’s early childhood programs. It will also provide improved instructional space for UMF’s more than 200 students preparing to be early childhood educators.

“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.

Founded in Portland, Maine, in 1977 as Portland Design Team and later known as PDT Architects, CHA Architecture specializes in the design of sustainable, high performance buildings in the education, health care, multi-family housing, office/corporate, state/municipal and historic preservation sectors.

More information on UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Childhood Education Center

Sweatt-Winter has the dual purpose of providing a model child care program for area preschool and school-age children and of serving as a training site for University of Maine at Farmington Early Childhood Education students. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Sweatt-Winter offers a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for children ages 3-8. A preschool program for ages 3-5 and a before-and-after school program for ages 5-8 are available. For more information contact Julie Farmer, director of UMF children’s programs, at 778-7480 or [email protected]

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