Collinsville Early Childhood Center’s program was developed through a collaborative process that included school administrators, teachers, the community, architects and interior designers. It 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$126.48FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio 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 high priorities. 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, and infrared systems control sinks and toilets.
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 with class projects and interact with nature. The outdoor classrooms extend beyond the building and are specific for each age group.