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University breaks ground on new Child Development Lab

On Friday, Oct. 20, Carson-Newman University broke ground on a new Child Development Lab. The facility is scheduled to open Fall 2024. Pictured left to right are: Emmie Palmer, BarberMcMurry Architects; Dr. Hong Tjoa, University Board of Trustees Chair; Tammy Hickle, director of C-N’s Child Development Lab; Carson-Newman President Charles A. Fowler; John Ballinger, Appalachian Construction and Design LLC.

Carson-Newman University broke ground on a Child Development Lab (CDL) on Friday. The new facility, located on Overlook Avenue in Jefferson City, continues to advance the lab’s mission within the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.

“We are excited about this new chapter in the life of Carson-Newman’s Child Development Lab,” said University President Charles A. Fowler. “Though we are building new walls and designing enhanced features for this facility, the one thing that will not change is the heart of our CDL. We desire for this program to flourish in how it prepares our students to be a generation of servant-leaders and as a valuable resource for our community.”

In keeping with the University’s campus architecture, plans for the new structure include columns at the front of the main entrance. The new facility, scheduled to open Fall 2024, will afford an outdoor learning environment promoting physical, emotional, social, cognitive and language development. A large indoor classroom is designed to allow space for equipment and activities supporting child development. Proposed designs showcase an enhanced playground featuring an enlarged, partially covered play area.

“What excites me most about a new CDL is that the University is choosing to prioritize and invest in a contemporary facility that provides unique opportunities for the university students and serves the community with a high-quality early education program,” said Tammy Hickle, director of the University’s CDL.

Carson-Newman’s CDL serves as a teacher training facility for Child and Family Studies majors. While the lab helps prepare C-N students with real world training, it also continues a long history of providing the surrounding communities with a State of Tennessee Three-Star Early Childhood program for children ages 4-5.

The University is coordinating with BarberMcMurry Architects on designs. The Knoxville-based architectural firm was a partner in designing C-N’s new Drama and Ted Russell Center, which opened in August, as well as the ongoing West Campus Commons project scheduled to open Fall 2024. The University is also partnering with Appalachian Construction and Design LLC.

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