After 18 months of construction, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven opened its new Early Childhood Learning Center on Feb. 19.

Students explore the new St. Martin’s Episcopal School building, which was rebuilt after damaged caused by an arson fire. (Special)

The new building, which serves children two through kindergarten, is double the size of the previous building. The building replaces the school’s Early Childhood wing, which was destroyed by an arson fire on in July 2017.

“It has long been the school’s vision to create a larger, purpose-built space to meet the unique needs of the youngest students,” said Head of School Dr. Luis Ottley in a press release. “When the fire destroyed the home of our Early Childhood Program we embraced the opportunity to execute that vision.”

The new building includes a “STEAM village” that intentionally connects a science lab, tinker space and art room, all geared to foster engagement and collaborative learning among young children. In the spring, the outdoor learning space and natural play area will be completed, and the garage doors in lower level classrooms will allow for a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor learning.

“We are incredibly grateful to St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church for graciously allowing us to share their space for the past 18 months,” said Early Childhood Principal Cindy Alexander. “And thank you to SMES parents, community members and the staff and crew at Evergreen Construction who all helped make this vision a reality.”

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