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Students to get head start on learning after KCDC breaks ground on future Head Start facility

Community and business leaders gathered to break ground on the site of a Head Start facility serving the Knoxville community.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville families will soon have a chance to make sure students get a head start on learning. The Knoxville Community Development Corporation broke ground on the site of a future Head Start facility Wednesday.

Community and business leaders gathered at the intersection of West Oldham Avenue and Reed Street to officially kick off the facility's construction. It will provide early education programs serving children up to 5 years old.

The facility costs $5.4 million, according to officials. It will be part of efforts to continue building in the Western Heights and Beaumont areas, called the Transforming Western initiative. Officials said it involves a 15-month planning process culminating in an application for a $30 million grant to fund the projects.

Construction of the Head Start facility is expected to be complete in late 2022.

"We want to provide neighborhoods where families can thrive, and today’s groundbreaking is made possible because of the combined efforts of our business and community partners," said Ben Bently, the CEO of KCDC. "We especially appreciate the commitment of Western Heights residents to help lead the renewal of their neighborhood.”

The building will be leased by KCDC to the Community Action Committee. They will operate the center and provide early childhood education as well as family services, health screenings, mental health assistance, disability assistance, free meals, transportation to and from Head Start and dual-language learning programs.