PRINCETON: University plans to build new childcare facility

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Princeton University intends to build a new child daycare center on mostly vacant land located on the fringe of campus between Broadmead and FitzRandolph Road.
The school will go before the municipal planning board next month seeking permission to construct the 17,500 square foot, one-story building that could hold up to 180 children from as young as infants to pre-schoolers. Plans also call for taking an unnamed road that connects FitzRandolph and Broadmead and turning it into a 45-space parking lot.
“We need a high quality childcare facility,” said university architect Ron McCoy on Wednesday after appearing before the municipal Site Plan Review Advisory Board, the body that reviews projects before they go before local land use boards.
Through two childcare providers, the university already offers daycare for the children of graduate students, faculty, staff and others in a building, also on Broadmead. The school intends to relocate the children to the proposed new building, due to be constructed starting next spring and completed in time for the fall 2017 semester.
The center would take up about three acres of the larger 140.59-acre-parcel that the university owns. The project could mean the loss of 12 to 21 trees that would have to be removed, but the school is proposing to replace them with 36 new ones.
The university has said it intends to construct an environmentally friendly building. One highlight will be on the roof, where solar panels will provide 60 percent of the energy needs of the building, Mr. McCoy said.
The new center will operate weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but not on weekends.
As for the current daycare building, it is shared with the school’s Office of Information and Technology. Mr. McCoy said the future of the building would be determined through the long-term campus planning the school is going through.