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Pre-K 4 SA and HOLT Group Break Ground on New South Education Center to Address Child Care Desert

SAN ANTONIO, TX — In a significant stride toward addressing the early childhood education needs of San Antonio, Pre-K 4 SA and HOLT Group broke ground on a new early learning center that will serve as the new South Education Center. Located on San Antonio’s south side, this project is made possible through a public-private partnership between Pre-K 4 SA and HOLT Group and promises to bring access to high-quality early childhood education to a traditionally under-resourced region. The new center is slated for completion by the summer of 2025.

“This project is not just a model for designing schools with the unique needs of children ages birth to four in mind; it’s a powerful example of the role business leaders can play in ensuring every child has access to high-quality early education,” said Dr. Sarah Baray, Pre-K 4 SA CEO. “Acting as a dynamic catalyst, our partnership with HOLT Group and our contractors symbolizes a new path to achieving high-quality early learning rooted in the vibrant community we call home. It is a true accomplishment in San Antonio, at this site, in this location.”

Drawing inspiration from San Antonio's culture and natural landscape, every space at the new education center is designed to foster the growth and development of young children and encourage learning through play. The building includes specialized spaces to support families as the first teachers of their children and areas for teacher collaboration.

"By working together with the private sector, we are taking a significant step towards ensuring that all our children have access to high-quality care and early learning opportunities," San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. "This directly supports our commitment to provide the best education in the nation and cultivate critical thinkers and problem-solvers who are proud to call San Antonio home."

Key features of the South Education Center include:

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  • Public-Private Partnership: By joining forces, both organizations aim to make a lasting impact on the educational landscape of San Antonio. Pre-K 4 SA’s collaboration with HOLT Group is one example of a San Antonio business supporting education to build a productive workforce, foster healthier and more engaged families, reduce poverty, and create civic-minded young adults to take San Antonio into the future.
  • Strategic Location: The new South Education Center is strategically positioned to address the need for accessible early childhood education on the southeast side of San Antonio, an area identified as a child care desert.
  • New Facilities: The center will feature modern classrooms for infants and toddlers equipped to meet early childhood education standards. Specialized spaces for interactive learning and play-based activities will be integral to fostering a stimulating educational environment. The building is designed for renewable energy, ensuring a healthier environment for children and setting a precedent for future educational facilities.
  • Community Impact: Pre-K 4 SA's expansion to serve the very youngest learners aligns with its mission to bridge educational gaps and ensure every child in San Antonio has a strong foundation for future academic success.

“We are honored to be part of this innovative project that showcases the transformative potential of partnerships between the public and private sectors that support early childhood education,” said Peter Holt, CEO at HOLT Group. “This collaboration underscores our belief that such innovative alliances are crucial to ensuring our youngest community members' well-being and future success. Together, we are creating a model that enhances early childhood education and sets a standard for collaborative efforts in building a brighter future for all.”

In recent years, south and southeast San Antonio have seen a decline in high-quality child care options, especially for families with children four years and younger.

"Investing in early childhood education is the cornerstone of building a thriving, healthy future for San Antonio,” City Manager Erik Walsh said. “This new center builds upon our city's recent Gold Medal recognition from CityHealth for public health policy — a testament to our commitment to closing health disparities and ensuring every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Thank you to the HOLT Group for being an innovative partner and an example of how public-private partnerships can make a difference."

The contractor on the project is G.W. Mitchell. The design team for the project includes Pfluger Architects, RDG Planning & Design, CDS Muery, Rialto Studios, Cleary Zimmermann, Combs Consulting Group, and Lundy & Franke Engineering, Inc.

“This initiative addresses a critical need and demonstrates San Antonio’s commitment to equitable learning opportunities for families in our community,” District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran said. “The investment in early childhood education is an investment in the future of our city, and I am excited to see the positive impact it will have on the lives of our residents.”

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