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 supports the two-thirds of Jefferson students who require early interventions for 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. Light-filled corridors and classrooms display the sensory courtyard at the heart of the school. An outdoor playground promotes independence and confidence, while a large motor skills zone 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. The efficient design reduces construction costs, and an energy-efficient geothermal system lowers heating and cooling costs.
Award of Merit,
Illinois Association of School Boards
Explore the project concepts