Christel House Indianapolis celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of a new Early Learning Center (ELC). The center will be operated by Early Learning Indiana and will add 80 new licensed childcare seats for infants to five-year-olds.
Christel House has invested $5.5 million to convert Emmerich Manual High School into a community-serving campus for traditional age K-12 students and adults seeking a high school diploma. The ambitious $2 million ELC construction plan required extensive renovation to convert office space at Manual into rooms appropriate for infants, toddlers, and pre-k students. United Way of Central Indiana’s $1 million matching grant from its Capital Projects Fund helped make the project a reality. “The ELC is a dream come true for Christel House Indianapolis and fulfills a promise we made to the Southside community when we decided to move Christel House Academy South and DORS South to the Manual campus in 2021,” says Dr. Sarah Weimer, Executive Director, Christel House Indianapolis. After the ribbon cutting, guests toured the ELC classrooms. Donors Ed and Kathryn Wall shared a personal connection to supporting the new facility. The couple, celebrating 55 years of marriage, met as teachers at the school in the 1960s. “All the memories this brings back from the time we spent in Manual – it’s a very special place,” says Kathryn. “We’re so excited we have a center here now as there is such a strong need for early learning.”