Englewood Schools offers its community the opportunity to participate in early childhood education with their peers from throughout the district. The new 37,000-square-foot preschool facility is located on the north end of Maddox ECE’s current site in a vacant field, allowing both the existing and new facilities to co-exist for one academic year. The scale of the building is respectful to the neighborhood of primarily one-story single family homes. The initial building concept is a building that is surrounded by a field of play. The design, which houses curriculum rooted in Learning through Play, has a playful character to it, so it is immediately identifiable as a school for young children, and a friendly and inviting place that symbolizes the high level of education being offered district-wide.
CLIENT: Englewood Schools
SCOPE: 37,000 Square Feet
COST: $13.8 Million
In plan, the building looks similar to a dragonfly, with administration and core functions at the center and classroom spaces on either side representing its wings. The Administration suite includes offices, conference rooms, work rooms, and toilets. From there, one enters into a central circulation area, with access to the maker space, kitchen, professional development spaces, and the classroom wings.
The center of the house is a multipurpose space, with a tricycle track, climbing and playground equipment, and high ceilings with clerestory windows and large doors to the outside. Classrooms open directly into the multipurpose space, and are arranged in pairs to allow shared storage, toileting and collaboration between teachers. Classrooms are oriented with windows to the north or south to promote even, well-controlled daylight for each space. Each pair of classrooms has direct access to a playground outside. The dragonfly shape of the building inherently divides the site into four quadrants, creating four contained playground spaces that each have their own unique character and support different types of creative play.