On Monday Io Landscape Architecture attended the ribbon cutting for South Salt Lake’s newest community facility. The celebration of a brand new Head Start Facility, located at the Central Park Community Center Campus. The event unveiled the new building to the community, but also featured the recently completed phase I landscape improvements for the campus, which Io designed. The site was once home to Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. With the help of Io, the city re-purposed a portion of the existing elementary school to serve as community recreation space, housing the Police Athletic League (PAL) after school program. Ultimately the site will feature athletic fields, a community garden, and other civic types of spaces. The south portion of the original school building, which was in extreme disrepair was removed, and the new Head Start facility was built in it’s place.
Head Start is an amazing organization that serves a real need in our communities. Providing much needed early education in hopes of giving these children an educational jump-start, and giving them a better shot at finishing high school and going on to lead better lives. In terms of the population that Head Start serves, the average income for a family of four is only $13,630.
In addition to classroom space for some 200 disadvantaged pre-schoolers, the new facility also features a commercial kitchen space, from which the 3,100 hot meals will be prepared and distributed to children in the community! This is not your standard school lunch either. Head Start initiated this program with the intent of providing better nutritional options to children. This means they serve Real Food! Everything is fresh and made from scratch. And, when serving meals at the schools they don’t use paper products (instead opting for dishes that they clean and re-use). The meal service operation also doubles as a community/adult education program. Called Saute’ this program prepares adult students to enter the food service industry.