Daily News

Davis Foundation Announces Support for Square One

SPRINGFIELD — In advance of the celebratory groundbreaking on Thursday, June 6, leaders from the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation recently visited Square One to celebrate the foundation’s $500,000 gift towards the construction of Square One’s new home.

“The Davis Foundation is deeply committed to investing in our community’s future through high-quality early education and care,” said Laurel Ferretti, chair of the board of the Davis Foundation. “We believe this project will provide critical support to children and families, ensuring they have access to the quality and supportive leadership of the team at Square One.”

Located at 947 Main St., the new building will stand where Square One resided prior to the 2011 tornado that destroyed the building. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place there on June 6 at 10:30 a.m.

“We are so grateful to the Davis Foundation for supporting our journey back to Square One,” said Dawn DiStefano, Square One president and CEO. “This project means so much to us and to the children and families who will benefit from the generous support of our donors. It is an outstanding opportunity to address the critical needs of our community, particularly in the way of early-childhood education and literacy.”

The new, 26,000-square-foot facility will include four preschool classrooms, outdoor learning and play space, workforce-development programming for youth and families, trauma-sensitive therapeutic intervention, parent education and support programming, and administrative offices.

The Davis Foundation was among the first funders to support Square One’s plans for a new building. In 2022, it awarded Square One a grant of $50,000 to complete a feasibility study to gauge support for the project. The results of that study were overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward with the capital campaign.

Other early support for the project includes funding from the city of Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, PeoplesBank, Balise Auto, the Beveridge Foundation, and New Market Tax Credits.