The NIH Northwest Child Care Center (NWCCC) is once again moving forward after experiencing a delay during the design phase in 2014. This long-awaited facility will be situated on Center Drive, between the NIH Fire Station and the Children’s Inn, and will have capacity for up to 170 children between 6 weeks and 5 years of age. It will increase the overall volume of available child care spaces on campus while also providing a new home to the occupants of one of the smallest centers on campus.
The inception of this facility has been spearheaded by the Office of Research Services and the NIH child care board, in collaboration with the Office of Research Facilities, to address the increasing need for full-time child care to both attract and retain high-caliber employees at NIH. Funding was secured for the project but significant challenges in the planning and design phases have led to delays. The design is now being completed as part of a collaboration between many groups within NIH to address evolving requirements for issues ranging from security to environmental compliance.
The center will be environmentally forward in addressing stormwater concerns including the first installation of a pervious parking lot on campus, as well as a green roof and pervious sidewalk along the main pedestrian path adjacent to Center Drive. It meets not only Maryland state child care licensing requirements, but also will provide a warm and welcoming environment for the children of NIH families.
The NWCCC is anticipated to break ground this fall and will take about 1 year to complete. Once the contract is awarded for construction, expect to see additional fencing and project signage installed as well as sidewalk closures and intermittent traffic restrictions in the area. Due to the large volume of construction traffic during the early phases, it will be necessary to re-route pedestrian traffic for safety reasons. All efforts will be made to minimize the disturbance to the NIH community. The center is expected to open in spring 2017.
Further information is available from Tonya Lee, ORS child care programs manager, email@example.com, or Stephanie Hixson, ORF project officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the south elevation of the new Northwest Child Care Center, due to debut on campus in spring 2017. Note the bell tower near the front door.