Committed to the establishment of a child day care center for working families with young children, Ohio University expanded its Child Development Center into the renovated horse barn at The Ridges.
Built in 1872 the two story brick Italianate Victorian structure was used to house workhorses for the Athens Mental Health Center. On March 3, 1980 it was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, but the building continued to remain unused. Years of weather damage and disrepair had left the roof framing rotting, bricks crumbling and the foundation unstable.
The adaptive reuse and restoration project transformed once rustic stables into nine modern classrooms, an art studio, a multipurpose room and outdoor/indoor play areas. An expansion provided room for a reception area, meeting room, staff offices, library, cubbyholes and other features.
This 12,000 sf center serves approximately 130 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and provides approximately 800 Ohio University students with educational field experience.