North Kansas City Schools Early Education Center

Gladstone, Missouri


DLR Group


North Kansas City Schools


112,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


The North Kansas City Schools Early Education Center is home to nearly 1,000 early childhood learners. It has been described by administrators as a wonderland of learning and the happiest place on earth. The design team was challenged to turn vacated strip mall retail space—a cavernous, dilapidated big-box store—into a colorful, welcoming, and child-friendly environment.

To break down the scale of the building and strengthen a sense of community, the design creates smaller, more intimate neighborhoods, or “pods,” each with a biophilic theme. Because of the young age of the learners (3 to 5), most of whom cannot yet read, each pod also has a corresponding color to assist with wayfinding. Each neighborhood provides easy access to distributed resources for educators and students, to reduce transition time and recapture that time for learning.

Additional Information

Cost per Sq Ft



Crow Island School Citation

Featured in

2023 Educational Interiors Showcase

Interior category

Pre-K/Early Childhood Education

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Interface
Flooring by nora systems, Inc.
Physical-Education Flooring by Tarkett USA
Cabinets by Stevens Industries
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Ceramic Tile by Dal-Tile
Door Hardware by Schlage
Doors by VT Industries
Movable Partitions/Walls by Moderco
Paint/Wallcoverings by Sherwin-Williams
Roofing by Carlisle SynTec
Skylights by Kalwall
Windows by Kawneer
Lighting & Accessories by Columbia Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Hubbell Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Axis Lighting
Emergency Lighting by Hubbell Lighting
Fire/Life-Safety Systems by Edwards Systems Technologies
Locks by Schlage
Card Systems by HID
Classroom Furniture by Smith Systems
Classroom Furniture by V/S America
Classroom Furniture by MooreCo
Classroom Furniture by Jonti-Craft
Lounge Furniture by V/S America
Lounge Furniture by EKO Contract
Lounge Furniture by NoraNivel
Lounge Furniture by Leland
Lounge Furniture by Turnstone
Lounge Furniture by Hightower
Multipurpose Areas Furniture by Gressco
Multipurpose Areas Furniture by Global Casework
Multipurpose Areas Furniture by Fleetwood
Office Furniture by HON
Office Furniture by OFS
Office Furniture by Turnstone
Office Furniture by Hightower
Office Furniture by Teknion
Childcare Furniture by Jonti-Craft
Drinking Fountains by Elkay
Washroom Accessories by American Specialties
Washroom Fixtures by Elkay
Washroom/Shower Partitions by Knickerbocker Partitions
Playground Equipment by BCI
Computers by Apple
HVAC Units by Trane
HVAC Control Devices by Automated Logic
ADA/Compliance Equipment by LCN Closers
Card Systems by HID
Draperies/Blinds by Hunter Douglas
Whiteboards / Markerboards / Chalkboards by Claridge
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