LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, September 12, Children's Institute, Inc. (CII), a 109-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and families in Los Angeles's most challenged communities, teamed up with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to unveil the design of the future Children's Institute Watts Campus. The design for the campus was revealed at a special event at CII's current interim facility, located at 1522 E. 102nd Street, in Watts.
Architect Frank Gehry was joined by a host of local political leaders, officials and community organizations who have thrown their support behind the project, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino and representatives from California State Assemblymember Mike Gipson's office, who all attended to celebrate the unveiling of the campus design. The event was hosted by Accenture.
"CII is an incredible organization with a vitally important mission," said Frank Gehry, whose acclaimed design firm, Gehry Partners, LLP, is headquartered in Los Angeles. "I am honored to be a part of this project, which will allow them to expand their reach to even more children and families."
It was on separate motions by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2011 and 2012 that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved granting Children's Institute a gratis lease with an option to purchase for its Watts campus.
"Children's Institute has long provided a safe haven for our most vulnerable, and now it is joining forces with the legendary Frank Gehry," Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. "I am excited to see this new campus rise in Watts, as it will elevate the community on so many levels, from protecting children to creating a new architectural gem for the neighborhood."
Once completed, the new two-acre Watts Campus will enable CII to expand its comprehensive support services to 5,000 children and families in the area. The campus will include rooms for individual and group counseling, community meeting space, indoor and outdoor areas for afterschool activities, early childhood education and childcare, areas dedicated to youth development programs such as art and computer training, as well as expanded space for family support services and classes. Frank Gehry is donating his design services to CII.
"We are so fortunate to work with leaders and organizations in the community who are collectively striving to address the needs of children and families," said CII's Executive Vice President & COO Nina Revoyr. "And we are proud, through our services and through this new facility, to be a part of a bigger change in Watts."
Headquartered near downtown Los Angeles, CII provides services to more than 24,000 children and families a year across Los Angeles County, helping them heal from the trauma of family and community violence, build the confidence and skills necessary to break through the barriers of poverty, and grow up to lead healthy, productive lives. The organization has provided social services from leased facilities in Watts for the past eight years, and has been active in the area for more than a decade. The new Watts campus will be a beacon of hope in the surrounding landscape, providing a safe, welcoming community hub for children and families.
"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Frank Gehry and Gehry Partners to bring this much-needed resource to the Watts community," said Children's Institute President & CEO Mary Emmons. "The opportunity to expand and build upon the work we've accomplished is one of our main areas of focus. We are committed to the children and families of Watts."
The $35 million Watts Campus capital project is the cornerstone of a larger campaign—CII's Building on Success comprehensive fundraising campaign—which will also raise funds for operations and other needs. Major commitments to date include: The Annenberg Foundation, the City of Los Angeles- Prop K, The Colleagues, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, The Harold McAlister Charitable Foundation, The L.A. Galaxy Foundation, The Otis Booth Foundation, The John M. Carson Foundation, and Philanthropic Society of Los Angeles (PSLA).
"We are receiving enthusiastic responses because of the significant need we're addressing in Watts, as well as the bold vision for the facility that Mr. Gehry has been instrumental in helping us achieve," said Charles Diamond, Chairman of CII's Board of Trustees.
For more information on CII's Watts Campus or the partnership with Gehry Partners, please contact Courtney Kassel, Vice President of Communications, at 213-260-7715. For more information on Children's Institute, Inc. visit www.childrensinstitute.org.
About Children's Institute, Inc.
Children's Institute, Inc. (CII) helps children in Los Angeles's most challenged communities heal from the trauma of family and community violence, build the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of poverty, and grow up to lead healthy, productive lives. Established in 1906, CII now serves more than 24,000 children and families in Los Angeles County through treatment, youth development, family support and early childhood services. We also inform the larger child welfare field through the research and professional training efforts of the CII Leadership Center. www.childrensinstitute.org
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, with more than 336,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Through its Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, Accenture is equipping more than 3 million people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business. Its homepage is www.accenture.com.
SOURCE Children's Institute, Inc.