Valley View Early Learning Center Expansion

Tucson, Arizona

  • FIRM

    BWS Architects


    Catalina Foothills Unified School District #16

  • AREA

    31,256 sq.ft.





Design team:
Robin Shambach (Project Manager); Frank Slingerland (Project Designer); Chris Pinkerton (Project Architect); Arthur Stables (Estimator/Specs); Steve McKnight (Construction Administrator); Concord General Contracting (General Contractor)

The project includes the addition of eight classrooms, a motor skills development room, a large multipurpose, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY216COST PER SQ FT$178.00CITATIONPre-K/Early-Childhood Education CitationFEATURED IN2017 Architectural Portfolio development and school board room, kitchen, and support spaces, as well as the renovation of the existing building. The project more than doubles the size of the existing school.
Situated in the scenic foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this emergent, natural play-based preschool expansion project integrates with its sloping terrain and desert context. In this environment, the outdoor spaces are as important as the indoor spaces. Students learn by doing and through interacting with others. This is a true “makerspace” facility. The playground includes lots of shade and natural play features. All new classrooms have direct access to the playground, enjoy natural light brought in through “butterfly” roof monitors, and incorporate unique accent colors. The wood structure is exposed for warmth and tactile interaction with the natural environment. “Mountain trail” themed corridors incorporate floor patterns that emulate a meandering path through the desert. A progressive landscape palette, visible from within through varying-height windows, strengthens the design concept. The MPR space, which serves as a professional development and training center for teachers district-wide and as a school board room, can be secured and isolated during day and at night. The MPR takes advantage of spectacular mountain views and access to a beautiful outdoor plaza. The parking was designed to disperse vehicles and minimize its impact on the site. Led by the builder, Concord General Contracting, and the architects, students took part in specially designed construction-based activities and “helped build their own school.”