Child Development Building
Backstory and Context
Although the the School of Mines was established in 1888, it did not have its own permanent home for 15 years. In 1903, the School of Mines Building was constructed on the northwest portion of campus for $61,000. Architect Clarence H. Johnston, Sr., designed the red brick building that housed the school for a decade. In 1913, however, a serious fire destroyed most of the building’s interior. The building was subsequently rebuilt, but the School of Mines relocated to a new facility.
The College of Education moved into the renovated structure, which became the new University High School building in 1915. University High School, founded by the Board of Regents in 1908, was one of the University’s laboratory schools. These schools were run by the College of Education in an effort to train instructors and research effective teaching methods. University High School was located in the former School of Mines Building until 1953, when it moved to the newly built Peik Hall.
Following University High School’s departure, the building became home to the Institute of Child Development (originally called the Institute of Child Welfare). When it was founded in 1925, the institute was one of only three such programs in the entire country. Originally based out of the old Student Christian Association Building, the institute has remained in the former University High School building since 1954, and the building is now named after the institute.
Since its founding, the Institute of Child Development has been a leader in its field, and as recently as 2018 was ranked as the nation’s top child psychology and brain development program. Despite its success, the institute is still operating out of a building that has remained essentially unchanged for over a century (besides one addition made in 1967). In the past few years, the University has begun planning and fundraising for a massive renovation and addition to the building. The proposed changes would substantially renovate the 1913 structure, add approximately 46,000 square feet of new space, and demolish the 1967 addition. If funding is approved by the state legislature in 2020, the new state-of-the-art facility could open in 2023.
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