SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica College (SMC) released information about their proposed Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) at the Civic Center Site.

The ECEC will be a 19,152 square feet building that will house a pre-school building, an infant-toddler building, offices and classrooms along with a public meeting place.

Growing Place has been selected as the operator of the Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab. Growing Place is a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica.

The Santa Monica City Council has already approved ECEC and is waiting for additional approval from the California Coastal Commission and the Division of State Architect. Construction is expected to start in 2017 and end in 2019.

“This is such a positive step forward, for our students, for the Santa Monica community, and for the children who will come to this Center,” said Laura Manson,  Early Childhood/Education Department Chair of SMC.

However, the City posited few conditions before giving the nod for the project. The ECEC should have 30 percent local enrollment and a minimum of 15 percent should be from low income families.

“Growing Place is guided by a strong image of the child and a belief in the role of education in constructing a better world. This partnership underscores SMC’s commitment to the development of cutting edge practices and research,” said Pauline McPeake, Executive Director of Growing Place in a statement.

Apart from teaching programs which are already a part of SMC education programs, the facility will also offer child-care services.

Santa Monica City Hall has offered a subsidized rate for ECEC. The ECEC is worth $13.2 million. SMC is paying for its portion via Measure S Monies approved in 2004.

“Growing Place is a great fit for this project and their involvement will help to make Santa Monica a place where everyone, no matter their background, can learn and thrive,” said Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer in a statement.