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ELC Facility

ELC lobbyAnnette B. Weyerhaeuser Early Learning Center (ELC)


  • The new Early Learning Center enables student parents to pursue their education by providing a safe, affordable, and nurturing environment for their children. The new Early Learning Center is licensed to serve 86 children, increasing our service to TCC students and their families by about 70 percent.
  • The Center provides unique links to the community by bringing TCC's early childhood programs into one well-designed facility. TCC offers training and college credit for local child care providers, with certificates in Child Development and Management of Early Learning and the 2-year Associate degree in Applied Sciences.
  • Through a partnership with Lesley University, TCC's new center serves as the site for the college's residency teacher certification program in elementary and special education.
  • The new building provides meeting space for the early childhood education community.
  • Fees for parents are based on a sliding scale, determined by income. Most TCC student parents are low income. Operation of the Center is subsidized by TCC Associated Students to keep quality child care affordable.
  • The $6.6 million building project included $1 million in capital funds from the State of Washington, matched by local donations secured through efforts of the TCC Foundation. At the time, funding included the largest anonymous gift in the history of the TCC Foundation. TCC Associated Students provided funds over several years totaling more than $2 million. Many other contributions were received from individuals, foundations and companies throughout the region.

Building Facts:

  • 13,000 square feet, one story.
  • Total construction and design costs: $6.6 million.
  • Includes six classrooms serving 86 children from ages one month to five years.
  • The Early Learning Center facility is part of a campus-wide environmental sustainability initiative. Built with natural, child-safe materials and energy efficient systems, the building is designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold building standards.
  • The ELC is designed to use 30 percent less water than a conventional building. Floors are warmed with circulating water for crawling young children. Large, creative outdoor play area with special areas tailored to different ages. Includes unique play structures, a working water pump, a tricycle track, a large permanent sand 'box', and a special covered outdoor play area.

Many sustainable materials were used throughout the center. One large play structure was constructed using 11,222 recycled plastic milk containers.

Design by:
McGranahan Architects, Tacoma

Construction by:
Pease Construction, Inc.

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