From left to right: Board of Trustee Danna Stroud, Board Vice President Patrick Mullen, Board President Mary Strobridge, Student Trustee Jesus Cendejas, Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns. Courtesy photo.
–Two years after breaking ground, the Measure L-funded R & B Shultz Early Childhood Education (ECE) Center is officially open at Cuesta College’s North County Campus in Paso Robles and was celebrated by the San Luis Obispo County Community College District Board of Trustees in a socially-distanced ribbon-cutting ceremony and private tour.
“The long-awaited R & B Shultz Early Childhood Education Center will be the new home of the early childhood education program that assists young children to attain and enjoy early learning and growing facilitated by Cuesta College’s outstanding faculty and staff,” said Board of Trustees President Mary Strobridge. “We are elated that the ribbon will be cut, marking the opening of a building definitely worth waiting for.”
The 10,935 square foot, one-story building provides dedicated teaching spaces, faculty offices, and childcare services for children 18 months to five years old. It was built with safety in mind, allowing staff to control access and monitor individuals entering and exiting the building. The center also includes a 12,000 square-foot outdoor play area with radiant heaters and fans.
“I am honored to be part of an organization that has invested in early childhood education and our early care workforce development goals,” said Cuesta College Children’s Center Director Katie Mervin. “It has been an incredible experience to come from a portable building with one shared kitchen and bathroom to a technology-rich environment with all the support needed to make all of our dreams as early childhood educators come true.”
The R & B Shultz Early Childhood Education Center currently has a toddler room and a preschool room available. It will expand to enroll 14 new children for Summer 2021 starting April 28 and enrolling for Fall 2021 beginning May 27. To stay up-to-date with the children’s center at Cuesta College, please visit their webpage at cuesta.edu and follow the center on Instagram.
“Our new building has exceeded our greatest expectations and will allow us to serve more families and Cuesta College students,” said Mervin. “Our team is dreaming up many ways to incorporate learning opportunities, community collaboration, and many memorable days.”
The ECE Center is named in honor of Robert and Bertha Shultz. They gifted $1M from their estate to Cuesta College to support facilities and equipment for the early childhood education program at the North County campus. The building project was primarily funded by Measure L, a $275 million general obligation bond voted on by San Luis Obispo County voters in November 2014. Upcoming bond projects include a new campus center on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus. Find additional Measure L updates and information at cuestacollegebond.info.