At the new Dakota Valley Learning Center, three separate programs—early childhood education, early childhood special education, and adult basic education—are housed together to better serve the surrounding community. This facility, which replaces three separate leased facilities, exemplifies the district’s desire for collaboration among these COST PER SQ FT$230.00FEATURED IN2015 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized programs. Separate wings enable each program to hold coinciding classes, and the shared two-story lobby with surrounding small-group meeting spaces and assessment rooms enables parents, educators and students to come together and discuss shared programmatic goals of family well-being, early childhood development, and early intervention and assessment of special needs.
Other design features that support the propgram include flexible classrooms to accommodate future program changes, and corridors with gathering spaces and a view to the outdoors. Classroom wings extend out from the hill toward the trees. Each wing has a small open gathering space outside the classrooms with a view to the outdoors. The wings can be shut off from the rest of the building, both physically and mechanically. which conserves energy.