NAPLES — Guadalupe Center broke ground on Oct. 30 for a new educational campus that will create lasting, transformational change for students in Immokalee.
The van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning will feature two academic buildings with multiple classrooms, a library, learning lab, cafeteria and kitchen, playground, administrative offices, mentor lounges, commons areas, a medical and dental suite, outdoor gardens and a student wall of fame. The campus will accommodate up to 154 students in Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program, as well as 125 high school students in the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.
Guadalupe Center named the campus in honor of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, whose generous $5 million matching gift helped launch the project and inspired others to give. Within the campus, Brynne & Bob Coletti Hall will become the new home for the Tutor Corps Program. Barron Collier Companies donated 9.5 acres for the new campus.
“A strong early childhood education gives children the best opportunity for future success, and this expansion will allow more students to get a head start on an education that will carry them through school, into college and beyond,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “We are truly grateful for all of the generous donors who stepped forward to help this dream become a reality for families in Immokalee.”
Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE). It also is recognized through the Southwest Florida Stars – Quality Rating and Improvement System and Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Additionally, Guadalupe Center has a five-star rating from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.
Tutor Corps is a highly selective, college preparatory program that offers guidance in college and career readiness, ACT and SAT test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance, as well as wages for tutoring younger students at Guadalupe Center.
In August, Guadalupe Center opened the Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus, which can accommodate up to 64 students ages 6 weeks to 3 years old. The addition of the van Otterloo campus will bring Guadalupe Center’s total student population to more than 1,800 students annually.
Construction costs for both new campuses are being funded through “Guadalupe Center: 2020 & Beyond,” a capital and operational campaign raising money to build new educational centers, hire additional staff, expand academic programs and establish an operational endowment fund.
“When our children were old enough to have conversations about philanthropy, we discussed creating a foundation and what causes we’d like to support as a family, such as a hospital or museum,” Rose-Marie van Otterloo said. “Everyone said education, and that’s what we’ve been supporting for the past 20 years.”
After moving to Naples, a friend introduced the van Otterloos to Guadalupe Center. After that first visit, Rose-Marie was hooked.
“I fell in love with this place because of its mission,” she said. “The only way to get out of poverty is through education, and Guadalupe Center is providing hope to so many families in Immokalee.”
Construction on the van Otterloo campus, which will be located at 3655 Westclox St. in Immokalee, is expected to be complete in late 2021. Project partners include Heatherwood Construction, David Corban Architects and Peninsula Engineering.
Guadalupe Center is recognizing donors through a naming opportunity campaign. Several investment opportunities are still available, including classrooms, building wings and offices. For information about additional giving opportunities, please contact Senior Director of Philanthropy Kelly Krupp at 239-657-7711.
About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 95% meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 94% graduate with a post-secondary degree.