San Antonio College (SAC) recently celebrated the unveiling of a new Early Childhood Education Center and John L. Santikos Micronaut Center, a $17.8 million, 21,000 SF building for which Vaughn served as construction manager-at-risk. The center provides childcare services for SAC students, faculty, and the community for children under four years of age. At the Early Childhood Center, each classroom accommodates children of varying ages, with rooms designed for infants, mobile infants, and preschoolers. Children can learn, play, eat, and nap without leaving the classroom. The center caters to school groups and currently hosts preschool and kindergarten classes.
The facility features a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning environment for pre-k through elementary school students. It houses the Santikos Micronaut Center, a simulated space station experience collaborated with the college's Scobee Education Center and Planetarium, which creates an opportunity to spark the imagination of young children. The first of its kind, the Micronaut Center already serves as a model for other centers across the country. A team of early childhood experts, educators, and other community stakeholders planned the center concept and created the activities to serve young students.
“Once again, the Alamo Colleges District continues to serve as a national model – in this case, from cradle to career in creating pathways for our community’s youngest minds to get connected to STEAM fields,” said Patricia Mejia, Vice President of Community Engagement and Impact at the Area Foundation. “We’re humbled to be able to provide catalytic support through the legacy of John L. Santikos, who highly valued educational attainment.”