Jefferson Early Childhood Center
Jefferson Early Childhood Center celebrates nature and promotes confidence and independence for early learners at all developmental stages
The new Jefferson Early Childhood Center encourages exploration, environmental education, and peer interaction. The design, winner of a district-sponsored competition, also considers the two-thirds of Jefferson students who have special needs or disabilities.
The 43,000-square-foot school offers dedicated indoor/outdoor therapy spaces, as well as a community welcome center and resource room for parent training. In the sensory courtyard at the heart of the facility, students of all developmental stages create, explore, and interact. Jefferson also includes an outdoor playground designed to promote independence and confidence, as well as a motor skills zone that doubles as a tornado shelter.
Designers drew inspiration not only from administrators, teachers, and parents, but also from community members and specialists ranging from physical and occupational therapists to speech and language pathologists.
- Designed for students of all physical ability levels
- Design exemplifies “ergonomic transposition,” which considers how small children experience the world
- Outdoor courtyard and playground areas displayed throughout the building
- Motor skills zone (doubles as a tornado shelter) gives students an indoor space to play and build skills ranging from balance to spatial awareness
- Each pair of classrooms has shared core with a toilet room and “integrated therapy” space
- Wider corridors support therapy, exercise, and creative play
- Color scheme (cheerful green, soothing blue, and upbeat yellow) inspired by several local landmarks