Michael Shilale Architects, LLP (MSA) is pleased to announce the completion of the Unified Vailsburg Services Organization’s (UVSO) Ivy Hill Pre-School in Newark, New Jersey. The fourteen classroom school was open in time for over two hundred excited three and four year olds to begin their school year.
Mike Farley, the Executive Director of UVSO, says, "We have had a wonderful response from our parents, teachers, elected officials and most importantly our kids. MSA designed and helped us build a beautiful building that supports our child care and educational goals."
This pre-school was part of a movement forged by the UVSO to provide a center for three to four year old children, as there were previously no centers of this kind in the Vailsburg neighborhood – which left a great need considering the fact that this area has the largest pre-school aged population in the region. Extra motivation came from the New Jersey court decision in the Abbott case, which stated that pre-school aged children from lower income families were at a disadvantage in the education system without proper childcare before elementary school. Since this decision, Abbott programs have been set in motion to get these children into childcare that will prepare them for school. The UVSO began progress with MSA on the Ivy Hill Pre-School to offer these children the foundation they need for a successful education
MSA was chosen for this important project thanks largely in part to Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED’s expertise in design for childcare centers. Mr. Shilale attended the Institute of Child Care Design at Harvard University, where he studied facilities from throughout the world. This expertise meshed with the mission and vision of UVSO to create a safe and nurturing space for optimal education.
MSA worked closely with UVSO throughout the development process to design a lasting structure that will foster growth and learning in children, through the important design quality of comfort. Interiors were chosen to help children stay focused when learning, and relaxed when participating in fun activities. Every measure was taken to offer an ideal environment for children to learn and have fun.
The dedication ceremony for the pre-school was held Thursday, September 24th, to honor the school’s completion and the beginning of its first school year. UVSO officials were proud to report that every one of the school’s seats were full on the first day of school, Wednesday, September 9th. The ceremony celebrated the contribution that the school makes and will continue to make to the community, which was in need of an early education center like Ivy Hill.