Groundbreaking for OIST’s Child Development Center
Since its opening in January, OIST’s child development program “Tedako”, Okinawan dialect for “children of the sun”, has grown to 45 students. Every day, children aged eight months to six years, enjoy spending their time at Tedako. While being operated in a temporary facility at present, the construction of a long-planned permanent facility has begun. On August 29, the blessing and groundbreaking ceremony organized by construction companies took place. The building is slated for completion next March.
This new facility has a circular design, housing bright, spacious classrooms facing a central playground. Red roof-tiles, called Ryukyu gawara, will be used on the roof. The new facility will have twice the space of the temporary building, with six nursery rooms, an infant room, a crawler room, a kitchen, and a teachers’ room. The nursery rooms, designated for specific ages, have ample space, each accommodating up to 16 children.
Mr. Takehiko Kuge of Nikken Sekkei, who was involved in the design, explained the concept of the round building, saying that its shape came naturally, representing the image of children being embraced. The six nursery rooms all face the central court so that staff members can watch the children playing. The entrance of the circular building faces the campus providing a view of the children to staff, researchers and students. A large eave covering the entrance will protect the children from rain.
Junko Shimabukuro, a Tedako staff member, who attended the ceremony on behalf of the Director, Julia Nabholz, said, “We will work to ensure a safe and comfortable environment so the children will grow up receiving a lot of love in this new environment.”