$7.1M Builds Child Care Center in Lawrence

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. Uses Tax-Exempt Bond from MassDevelopment & Eastern Bank to Build New Child Care Facility, Expand Enrollment & Create Jobs

March 2, 2022

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.

Rendering of the new child care facility at 585 Andover St. in Lawrence, courtesy of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. and Davis Square Architects

LAWRENCE, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $7.1 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. (GLCAC), which will use proceeds to demolish its outdated existing child care center at 585 Andover St. in Lawrence and build a new two-story, 28,790-square-foot child care center in its place. The organization will construct the new child care center in the existing parking lot of the current facility, and repurpose the land where the current building lies, once it is demolished, for a playground and parking. At the new child care center, GLCAC will be able to increase the number of children it serves – ranging in age from 15 months to 11 years old – from 238 to 297. In addition to classrooms, the new building will feature a state-of-the-art kitchen, which will be used to prepare meals for more than 800 children across GLCAC’s entire early education network. The organization expects to create 16 new full-time jobs in the next three years as a result of the increased capacity. Eastern Bank purchased the bond, which will also be used to refinance previously issued debt.

“We can create thriving local economies by ensuring families have access to high-quality affordable child care,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud that MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt financing is able to support child care providers looking to build new facilities and expand services.” 

“Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. is a community leader in providing individuals and families with the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is proud to help the organization further invest in Lawrence through the creation of a brand-new child care center that will serve nearly 60 additional children, create jobs, and support working families.” 

"We are proud to support the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.’s plans to build a new child care center, and to help with the financing of the center’s upfront construction in addition to staying invested in the center after it opens,” said Eastern Bank Vice President and Relationship Manager of Community Development Lending Angela Meehan. “Child care programs are essential to a more equitable and inclusive economy, and it is a pleasure to work with MassDevelopment to create greater opportunity for families in Lawrence.”

“Early childhood education has myriad benefits, including better, more equitable long-term outcomes for children of divergent economic backgrounds,” said Lawrence Mayor Brian A. DePeña. “We thank MassDevelopment as they see and support investments in early child care that helps cultivate a future workforce, secures long-term economic competitiveness, and develops our city’s future leaders. “The expansion of GLCAC child care services, with a new and expanded site, is one of the keystones of our youth’s future, but it also provides an important benefit to Lawrence’s working parents, especially working mothers.”

MassDevelopment has previously supported GLCAC. In 2007, MassDevelopment issued a $4.3 million tax-exempt bond to help the organization buy its existing child care facility at 585 Andover St. in Lawrence.

Under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson and through the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. originated in 1965 as the Lawrence Community Action Council and in January 1966 the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council was established as a means of fighting the war on poverty. As stated in the agency by-laws, the primary purpose of the GLCAC is to encourage and promote the improvement of community life in Greater Lawrence with special emphasis on, but not limited to, the initiation of programs in education, social services, child care, health, housing, youth employment, and related fields. Since its inception, GLCAC has been a consistent partner in working with local, state, and federal governments and private agencies in creating opportunities and providing hope for people living in poverty. Currently GLCAC serves more than 35,000 clients in a variety of programs and has an annual operating budget of over $20 million.

“We are thrilled to get this project underway and delighted with MassDevelopment’s involvement,” said Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. Executive Director Evelyn Friedman. “Their financing and flexibility allowed us to fit all the intricate pieces together.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.