PORTFOLIO | EDUCATION

Freda Markley Early Childhood Center

  • Whimsical undulating canopy sets tone for fun learning environment within.
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  • Specially designed foyer creates a secure entry
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  • A curving hall links classrooms and activities
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  • Daylighting in all classrooms
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  • Demonstration kitchen
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  • Ramps with varying elevations and steps help develop motor skills
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  • Building creates south facing courtyard for playground
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LOCATION

Kansas City, Mo.

SIZE

42,000 square feet
Freda Markley Early Childhood Center was the centerpiece project in a bond package passed by Hickman Mills School District patrons. The leading-edge design provides 18 classrooms to serve as many as 432 pre-schoolers in an environment suited for children with widely varying physical and learning abilities. The center features varying elevations and steps that help pre-schoolers develop motor skills and dexterity, each at their own pace. Classrooms are clustered in pods and provide for maximum flexibility for teachers and staff. What the individual student experiences is a canopy, corridor, classroom, lunchroom, media center, gymnasium, kitchen and playground that is perfectly suited to his or her physical size, stage of development, and ability to learn. The center is on track for LEED certification. Judges for the Mid-America Regional Council named it a Sustainable Success Story in 2010. In 2011 Design Excellence Award judges in metro Kansas City also honored the center with a Gold Award in the Contemporary Architecture category and a Bronze Award in the Green category.