Contact: Elena Aguirre, (505) 277-3365,
Sabra Basler, (505) 277-7590 or
Laurie Mellas-Ramirez, (505) 277-5915

March 27, 2001


Children at Manzanita Center enjoy lunch. Photo by Mielle Marquis.The groundbreaking for the new University of New Mexico Child Care / Manzanita Center will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at the Child Care Center located at 1210 University Blvd. A host of dignitaries, including Congresswoman Heather Wilson, R-N.M., UNM Vice President Eliseo Torres, Rebecca Jo Dakota, director of the Commission on the Status of Women, and Lobo Louie and Lucy (UNM mascots) will be featured as part of the groundbreaking ceremony. A lunch consisting of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a glass of milk will also be served as part of the event.

The $3.5 million project is funded by UNM System Revenue Bond Proceeds and will feature 25,600 square feet of new space in a series of age-group clustered pavilions, which will replace the 17-year-old wooden modular structure that contains classrooms for 220 children, a central kitchen, and administrative and support offices. The outdoor areas will include protected and landscaped playgrounds, gardens and learning areas.

The early childhood development program from the Manzanita Center of the College of Education will relocate from main campus to the new facility centralizing the childcare needs of the University. A classroom and training center constructed in 1992 for the before/after school care program will remain intact and contains space for 45 children.

The UNM Child Care Center, an auxiliary enterprise of the University serving students, faculty and staff with quality childcare services, is accredited by the National Academy for Early Childhood Programs. In addition, it is a quality venue for the study of early childhood development. The UNM Child Care Center is partially funded by ASUNM-GPSA student fees. The building has housed the program since 1983.

The project architect is Gregory T. Hicks & Associates and the project information contact is Russell W. GoLighty. The Facility Planning contact is Robert Meyer, the UNM Child Care Director is Elena Aguirre, and the UNM Manzanita Interim Program Manager and lead teacher is Sarah Chakerian. For further information, including photos, please visit

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The University of New Mexico
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