Case Study

Notre Dame Academy-Early Childhood Center

The one story, freestanding early childhood center is designed exclusively for 3, 4, 5 and 6 year olds. Learning through play and demonstration, the children are organized into four, self-sufficient, L-shaped classrooms, around a central commons featuring the children’s art. Each classroom has at least two daylight exposures, built in cubbies, alcoves for wet science and art, private toilets, individual outside entrances and shared covered porches. There is radiant heating under the floors, since the school day includes napping on personal mats on the floors.

On the nine acre deeply wooded, hilltop campus, the new center’s exterior harmonizes with four other academic buildings, two of which were originally Cotswold style private homes from the early 1920’s. The new center is brick and barse board with cottage-type, divided light windows and steep roof lines. With its own play yard immediately adjacent to the north and its own new entrance and parking drop-off, the center is the new north anchor of the campus.

The Early Childhood Center has received a design award.