Rillito Center serves students ages 5 to 18 with acute mental and physical handicaps. The project scope included the remodel of the existing 8,000-square-foot center and the addition of about 20,000 square feet of new classrooms, administration and health offices. Specific design response to special student needs:
•Extra space allows for easier mobility CAPACITY100COST PER SQ FT$184.00FEATURED IN2013 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized wheelchairs and therapy equipment. Each classroom has direct access to the dedicated/adjacent bathroom, living-skills area and therapy equipment storage.
•The environment is designed with a low level of distraction and sensory stimulus to reduce student anxiety. Daylighting is provided in all classrooms, with forms, textures, acoustics and colors to help reduce student sensory overload.
•Visual contrast, texture of walkways and walls provide opportunities for student sensory wayfinding, fostering greater student independence inside and outside.
•Access to outdoor learning environments enables students to grow in sensory experience and mobility training. Three specialized outdoor learning areas have been provided for play and therapy organized by age and grade level.