Reedley College sees new childhood education facility

Recent ribbon cutting at Reedley College signifies the welcome of a new Early Childhood & Education building at northern portion of campus that features six classrooms, 15 offices

Early Childhood Education coordinator Rubisela Sanchez (at left with scissors) and ECE instructor Marcy Davidson cut the ribbon to formally dedicate the new $12.5 million Early Childhood & Education building at the northern portion of campus on Friday, Aug. 4. The 20,000 square foot facility includes six classrooms – two each for infants, toddlers and preschool – a lab classroom and 15 offices among the features. (Jon Earnest)
Early Childhood Education coordinator Rubisela Sanchez (at left with scissors) and ECE instructor Marcy Davidson cut the ribbon to formally dedicate the new $12.5 million Early Childhood & Education building at the northern portion of campus on Friday, Aug. 4. The 20,000 square foot facility includes six classrooms – two each for infants, toddlers and preschool – a lab classroom and 15 offices among the features. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published August 5, 2023  • 
1:00 pm

REEDLEY – Nearly 20 months after breaking ground, the Reedley College’s new Early Childhood & Education building received a formal welcome from college officials and community members.

A mid-morning ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 4 capped off the dedication of the $12.5 million, 20,000 square foot facility that features six classrooms, a lab classroom and 15 offices among its many features. The building, which broke ground in late November 2021, features six observation rooms, a staff lounge, food service area and staff workroom.

Visitors tour the Preschool 2 classroom and looks outside at the patio and play area following the Reedley College Early Childhood & Education building dedication on campus the morning of Friday, Aug. 4. The 20,000 square feet facility includes six classrooms – two each for infants, toddlers and preschool – a lab classroom and 15 offices among the features. (Jon Earnest)

“We made it, we did it, we’re here,” said Marcy Davidson, instructor and department chair for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, as those in attendance cheered her on. “It’s so exciting, it has been a journey for 20-plus years for the dream of this place to finally come true. There have been so many that have helped pave the way to get us here today.”

Rubisela Sanchez, coordinator of the ECE program, expressed the department’s excitement about its new ability to expand childhood services for the college’s student families, faculty and staff and the community.

Desks and small chairs fill the play and classroom area of one of the toddler classrooms that visitors toured following the Reedley College Early Childhood & Education building dedication on campus the morning of Friday, Aug. 4. The 20,000 square feet facility includes six classrooms, a lab classroom and 15 offices among the features. (Jon Earnest)

“Our new space will allow our children in the program (access) to two infant classrooms, starting at six weeks, two toddler classrooms and two preschool classrooms,” she said. “Our new building will be filled with young children, teachers, educators and counselors who will love and nurture every child who comes here while mom and dad attend Reedley College classes or work.”

Liliana Gonzalez, a recent graduate of the ECE program, briefly spoke to dedication attendees while holding her toddler son in her arms. She shared about her six years of experience in the program, and how she took on added responsibilities as a classroom teacher for ECE in 2019.

Liliana Gonzalez, a recent graduate with the Early Childhood Education program, holds her toddler son while addressing the crowd during the Reedley College Early Childhood & Education building dedication on campus the morning of Friday, Aug. 4. Gonzalez shared her experience going through the program. (Jon Earnest)

“This building signifies the opportunity for growth and success in education for not only myself but Reedley College students,” she said. “This program has allowed me to attend my full time courses on campus, work as a student staff teacher, meet with my professors and counselors and attend tutoring sessions. It has allowed me to continue my recent college education and witness my son’s educational development of learning at the same time.

“I hope that the same positive impact is given to each and every family that walks through these doors come fall semester.”

After all speakers concluded their remarks, Davidson and Sanchez teamed up to cut the ribbon with a large pair of ceremonial scissors as Reedley College President Jerry Buckley and other dignitaries looked on. Following the ceremony, the public was able to tour the classrooms and offices in the building to get a closer look at the new desks and furniture for the young children.

While the ceremony took place, construction clatter continued just to the north at the future McClarty Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. The Center continues to take shape and remains on target to open in January 2024.

Jon Earnest
Reporter