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Sac State, SMUD, and UC Davis Health break ground on new child development center

Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen (third from left) joins other dignitaries from the University, SMUD, and UC Davis Health, along with Mayor Darrell Steinberg (center), in breaking ground on a new child development center on Folsom Boulevard on Dec. 10, 2021. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

A new child development center, the result of a partnership among Sacramento State, SMUD and UC Davis Health, is expected to broaden care options in a facility close to campus.

A ceremonial ground breaking on Dec. 10 signaled the start of work to complete the 17,000-square-foot facility inside a 1960s-era building on the 6000 block of Folsom Boulevard.

Sac State's commercial services auxiliary, University Enterprises, Inc., bought the building in 2019 for $4.5 million. The facility is expected to open in fall 2022 and will accommodate just over 200 children.

"Finally, child care for our faculty and staff, many of whom have struggled to find affordable, high-quality care near campus," Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen said at the ceremony

He called the project "life-changing" for employees who have child care needs and said it will deepen and strengthen Sac State’s impact on the region.

Nelsen said the partnership with SMUD and UC Davis represents another example of Sac State’s commitment to its Anchor University initiative, which aims to establish greater ties between the University and the community.

The ceremony promised transformation of the building that once housed a hobby shop and ballroom dance studio.

"To have these three giants come together to address one of Sacramento’s greatest societal needs is huge for the city of Sacramento," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

In addition to the vast indoor area, the facility will include 15,000 square feet of outdoor space that will feature a playground and an educational and ecological area.

Eventually, another part of the building will be developed as a training facility for Sacramento State’s gymnastics team, which currently trains in Elk Grove. 

The as-yet-unnamed child development center will ease the burden on Sac State faculty and staff, who sometimes have difficulty finding acceptable daycare opportunities for their children. Similar impact is expected on SMUD and UCD Health employees.

The Associated Students Inc. Children’s Center on campus exists to serve parents who are enrolled at Sac State.

For more information about the child development center, visit

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About Dixie Reid

Dixie Reid has been a writer for Sac State since 2012 after decades as a newspaper reporter. A Texas native with the accent to prove it, Dixie is crazy about “dear friends, big dogs, good books, great food, day trips, baking cookies, California sunshine (and fog), and kind people.”

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