This 12,500 SF early education center on the UC Santa Cruz campus will serve 140 children in a Family Student Housing development.
The project presents numerous interesting challenges and opportunities including Triple Net Zero sustainability requirements, energy modeling and stakeholder presentations to increase community comfort with the proposed land use. Utilizing the “Great Meadow” site, as referred to by the students, the project strives to reintroduce native plants and trees to preserve the overall green feel of the site. The design extends the learning environment outdoors to areas of play. The team has created an outdoor classroom for each age group designed with emphasis on natural exploration.
The Early Education Center has been uniquely paired with the Psychology department at UCSC which establishes a direct relationship between the playful learning environment of children and the intellectual world of the University. The design/build team has incorporated research rooms adjacent to each classroom to facilitate observation and analysis of early education environments.