Children’s Friend renovating former Providence elementary school

PROVIDENCE – The nonprofit Children’s Friend is overseeing the renovation of a former Providence elementary school into a new early childhood center.

The Asa Messer Annex, a former city elementary school for kindergarten and first grade, closed in 2012. It is a historical building, originally opening in 1925.

The renovation began in October, in a ceremony that attracted federal and city dignitaries. The project includes a $4.5 million grant from the federal Head Start program, according to Children’s Friend.

The building, when it opens next school year, will become an Early Childhood Center of Excellence. It is located at 245 Althea St., in the city’s West End neighborhood.

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Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at