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A homey Meriter Child Care Center is approved for Mills Street
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The Mills Street location allows for cross-functionality with the already-existing hospital campus.
Credit:Plunkett Raysich Architects

Madison's Urban Design Commission unanimously approved plans for a new Meriter Child Care Center. The commission had already approved the project at an adjacent location in 2011, but Meriter Health Services determined the new location, on South Mills Street, would be a better use of space.

The new plan is "better integrated with the Mills street neighborhood," project manager Kirk Keller said at a Urban Design Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 25. According to a letter (PDF) to the commission from Keller, the facility will act as an architectural "transition zone" between the neighborhood and the rest of the hospital campus.

The project's plans show a homey two-story structure with a steeped roof, a porch, and lots of white trim, suggestive of a large house.

The Mills Street location allows for cross-functionality with the already-existing hospital campus. The existing parking lot can be used for parents to drop off their children at the center. The new facility also maintains access to the existing playground. Two residential rental buildings will be demolished to make room for the Child Care Center. Meriter owns both of these lots.

Meriter Child Care Center will replace existing childcare facilities at Longfellow School and on Chandler Street. It will provide care for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.

The project is set to break ground this fall with a goal of opening in July 2013.

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