Excellent educational programs are seldom the result of a building alone; however, through the cooperative efforts of a diverse group of participants, the Great Beginnings Early Education Center was a natural. Spurred on by a private donation, the Lee’s Summit School District was challenged to provide a much-needed new facility for Parents As Teachers CAPACITY463COST PER SQ FT$149.50FEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized early-childhood-education programs. The community responded with matching funds, and the city formed a lease agreement to situate the building on park land.
The building blends into the park setting with use of brick, stone and wood trusses that transition to the interior. Clerestory windows allow natural light into the lobby, which serves both programs.
Parents As Teachers is to the north and contains 36 workstations for parent educators. Support spaces for educational literature, developmental toys and books, along with rooms for seminars, occupy this portion of the building.
Central to the facility are a multipurpose room, and speech and occupational/physical-therapy spaces used by both programs.
To the south are 12 classrooms for physically or developmentally delayed children in the early-childhood program. The design of the two classroom wings promoted the use of six shapes and six colors to provide a recognizable element for students to identify their rooms. A specially designed playground is adjacent to both classroom wings.