Collinsville Early Childhood Center’s program was developed through a collaborative process including administrators, teachers, the community, architects and interior designers. The program called for a 450-student facility that would maintain a sense of community and scale. The design develops the idea of a school-within-a-school. The scale of the spaces becomes more COST PER SQ FT$126.48CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYPre-K/Early Childhood Education as students enter each pod and ultimately their individual classrooms.
The design includes a secure vestibule that allows for controlled access into the building. All of the exterior entrances can be seen from three camera locations. Each pod can be locked from the interior and eliminate access from the main corridors. This allows for egress through the pod and away from intruders.
Energy efficiency and operating costs also were identified as a high priority. The design allows for daylighting in each area. The building also uses ground-source heat pumps along with an energy-management control system. For additional energy savings, motion sensors control lighting in common spaces throughout the building; sinks and toilets use infrared controls.
Each pod has an outdoor classroom that allows for teaching “outside of the box.” Administrators wanted to develop an area where students could be more hands-on and interact with nature.
The design of the interior spaces incorporates colors, shapes and textures to help students and visitors navigate the building more easily. Because each pod has its own entrance and identity, students develop a sense of community and ownership that teachers can use in the curriculum.
“The colors are bold and unique. The details in the design are apparent. A very happy, warm and friendly space.”--2008 jury