Acoustic Remediation at La Casita Verde

Pat Griffith

Mount Washington Preschools first opened La Casita Verde in the newly restore Ziegler Estate in 2001, after a lengthy, but historically accurate renovation by the City’s CRA. The estate had been purchased by the City in 1992, with the intent to provide a child care center for NE LA. Addressing the chronic broken-windows syndrome occurring in the dilapidated mansion was a happy side-effect, and they also were able to create a transit-oriented center near the to-be-developed Southwest Museum Gold Line station. 

The center initially served Infants through Toddlers, while Preschool-aged children attended Highlands Center, which was then housed at the (now) Hathaway-Sycamores campus on Ave. 64 in Highland Park.   At that time, Mount Washington Preschools had a HeadStart contract to serve about 15 low-income children in the preschool program, which integrated HeadStart children with fee-paying children in one program.  Since that time, Hathaway-Sycamores secured funds to start other programs of their own on the campus, so La Casita Verde was subsequently relicensed to serve children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. This relocation of the preschoolers has highlighted a long-known need to remediate the acoustics in the (now) Preschool room, to bring the volume of these older children down to a more tolerable level.

CalWorks is a principal source of subsidies for low-income moms needing childcare, but is funded by the State.  As everyone has read, the State is making drastic cuts to most of its services, including early childhood education.  Mount Washington Preschools has reached out again to our local HeadStart agencies to work with them to bring a federally-funded HeadStart program into our Preschool program, as we have done before. But, unfortunately, it was obvious on their visit that the classroom was too noisy to be meet Headstart standards.  So… now the big renovation project must finally begin.

Mount Washington Preschools has asked several local organizations and businesses for their assistance in this somewhat costly project, and we thank the Arroyo Seco and Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Councils, and quite a few other individuals, for their financial support and assistance in helping us get started. Our consultants have come and tested the acoustics in the room to determine how much remediation must take place, and, unfortunately, it cannot be solved by more curtains and rugs. We know this will involve some construction in the non-historic room, to muffle the sound bouncing off the high ceiling.

The Mount Washington Association has been a consistent supporter of this program, beginning with the initial fundraising done to open the first center in 1992 in the Coptic Church on El Paso and Cleland.  Since that time, the Association has generously supported our youngest children and their early childhood education, as it is one of the major factors in ensuring their success in school. We are very grateful to the Association for their support, and we are now asking the Mount Washington Association if they can again support this new effort to make the Preschool room at La Casita Verde meet acoustic standards.

Thanks very much!



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