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image Project: Oswego Early Childhood Center

Oswego Early Childhood Center

Introduction


The architect partnered with the district to design a new facility that meets the unique needs of the children within the Early Learning program. Children who attend the school are between the ages of 3 and 5 and most have either physical or learning disabilities. The district’s goal was to improve the quality of their lives by designing the building to accommodate their needs and create the best learning environment.

The architect made a commitment for the new school to not only be programmed and designed within 8 months, but also constructed and occupied. To help facilitate such an aggressive schedule, initial design services were provided “at risk”.

After a successful bond referendum, designers issued an initial Core & Shell bid package allowing the District to commence construction, reduce the cost of construction inflation, and occupy the facility for the beginning of the 2007-08 school year. Multiple bid packages helped expedite construction deadlines.

The center features four small houses that pinwheel around a central core of shared facilities. Each house consists of five classrooms surrounding a light-filled Living Room, serving as an extension of learning and the hub of the instructional program. From a student’s perspective, this reduces the scale of their school to just five classrooms and a Living Room. The many attributes of the school gives each challenged student a place where they, during the most critical development period of their lives, can learn how to learn - a trait necessary for life.

Undulating gable roofs allow natural light to penetrate 100% of all classrooms and over 85% of the total building area. Additional windows are raised just off the floor so students of all abilities can connect with the outdoors. A child-friendly scale throughout the facility is created by horizontal lines through color, materials and texture.

In-floor and ceiling radiant heat provides thermal comfort in response to the many program activities carried out on the classroom floor. It is designed to meet the requirements of the ANSI 12.6 Acoustical Standard.





Recognized Value Award 2008

Oswego
Illinois
UNITED STATES

Type:
Early Education

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