Jefferson Early Childhood Center recognized among Illinois’ best educational environments
Jefferson Early Childhood Center one of three Illinois schools honored with Award of Merit in statewide competition
In 2016, Community Unit School District 200 (District 200) launched a competition that challenged two top Chicago educational architecture firms to design a replacement for its ailing early learning center in Wheaton, Illinois. The community wanted a facility that would not only inspire the district’s three- to five-year-old students, but also support the two-thirds of those students who have special needs or disabilities.
“The new Jefferson Early Childhood Center was carefully designed to meet the unique, diverse needs of the students in our community. Our students, parents, and staff are incredibly pleased with the new building.” – Dr. Jeff Schuler, Superintendent, District 200
District 200 selected Legat Architects’ design and in August 2020, construction of the new Jefferson Early Childhood Center completed. The 43,000-square-foot Jefferson Early Childhood Center encourages exploration, environmental education, and peer interaction for students of all developmental stages.
This year, the district and Legat submitted the project for the 2021 Exhibition of Educational Environments, sponsored by IASB (Illinois Association of School Boards) Service Associates. The statewide competition recognizes the best in educational planning and design.
Jefferson Early Childhood Center was one of only three Illinois school construction projects selected by a jury of school administrators and architects to receive an Award of Merit for excellence in educational environments. Selection criteria range from programming and design to energy efficiency and safety features.
Representatives of District 200, Legat, and construction manager Nicholas & Associates accepted the award at November’s IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. The project was also one of 22 selected for display at the event, one of the nation’s largest state education conferences.
District 200 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler said, “The new Jefferson Early Childhood Center was carefully designed to meet the unique, diverse needs of the students in our community. Our students, parents, and staff are incredibly pleased with the new building.”
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