A groundbreaking ceremony is set Thursday for a downtown project to provide 100 apartments as well as a new home for the Little Miss Mag Early Learning Center.
As the ground floor of the Walnut Commons development, Little Miss Mag will have more space and a new ability to serve even more families, officials said.
Walnut Commons will be the largest apartment complex built downtown in decades with a location at Riverfront Parkway, Aquarium Way (Second Street) and Walnut Street.
Founded in 1917, Little Miss Mag was one of the first centers for working mothers in the Chattanooga area. The center was founded at the request of Mayor Jesse Littleton to help women who had to work because their husbands were fighting in World War I or had lost their lives defending their country.
Officials said, "Over 95 years Little Miss Mag has continued the mission to provide exceptional early childhood education in a safe and nurturing environment right in the center of Chattanooga."
Currently Little Miss Mag can educate 48 children ages, 18 months to five years old, 69 percent of whom come from families with an income of $30,000 or less. LMM operates on a sliding fee scale.
Center Director Johanne Albright said, “Income level should not interfere with a child’s access to the highest quality early education that prepares them for success in school and for the rest of their lives.”
Doubling the current capacity for Little Miss Mag, 10 individual classrooms will allow 120 children to be served. Built to LEED Certification standards, the new center will be able to serve children from birth to five years old.
“The convenient location and highest standard of education make Little Miss Mag the perfect place for anyone’s children, and we’re excited that we’ll be able to provide more children the opportunity for the best early education” said Ms. Albright.
Little Miss Mag is currently located nearby on Walnut near Third Street.
Board president Frank McDonald said, “It’s been a long time in the works and we’re able to make this major step forward thanks to the generous nature of the friends of Little Miss Mag and the
tireless work by so many people, it’s an exciting to know that in just a year and a half we’ll be able to provide our excellent level of education to even more families.”
Groundbreaking will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the site.