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The Heights Foundation/Heights Center Education Center Construction Update

The Heights Foundation/Heights Center continues construction progress on the 36,000 square foot, $11.8 million Heights Early Learning and Education Center. The 3 story building located on Hagie Drive in Harlem Heights is the latest addition to The Heights Foundation/Heights Center campus and will serve as the new home for GLAD Kids Early Learning Center, serving children birth to five years, and the Harlem Heights Community Charter School, an elementary school with grades K-5. The building is scheduled to open for the 2020-2021 school year.

“We are on target for the opening in fall 2020,” said Ryan Propp, construction superintendent with Owen-Ames-Kimball. “The exterior stucco is 75% complete, exterior painting has started, drywall finish is completed on the first floor classrooms and interior painting has begun. Cabinetry and acoustical ceiling work has begun on the first floor and site utilities are ongoing.”

“We are pleased that O-A-K has continued to move ahead, on time, with this project despite the COVID-19 crisis,” said Kathryn Kelly, founder, president and CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “We look forward to welcoming back more than 130 students to our charter school and more than 90 children from our early learning program at GLAD Kids.”

In addition to classroom space, the colorful building has a large multipurpose room with a capacity to serve meals for 180 students. The building has music and art labs designed with access to an outdoor roof terrace to encourage arts exploration and interaction with the environment. The terrace will also host the aquaponics and hydroponics gardens. An outdoor play pavilion is included as part of the design for PE activities. All classrooms have been designed with natural light, flexibility and technology in mind.

84% of the project’s budget has been raised so far. Major donors include David Lucas, Jim and Gaye Pigott, The Fernandez Family Foundation, Joe and Joann Catti, Dinah Bloomhall and FineMark Bank & Trust, as well as several anonymous donors.

For more information about supporting The Heights Early Learning and Education Center, contact Kathryn Kelly at (239) 482-7706 or For more information about The Heights Foundation visit