The Early Childhood Development and Parenting Education Center at Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, is budgeted at more than $17 million, with completion expected in July.
The building will be situated adjacent to the campus' main entry. Its highly visible roof will be covered in a smooth, reflective membrane embossed with a circular motif that is repeated throughout the courtyard area. All HVAC systems are hidden under a cantilever behind the building, instead of on top of the roof, to create a clean canvas appearance from above. The second wing of the facility, which is connected yet separate from the children's area, will house the Education Department's classrooms and offices. A glazed cutout through the roof and floor allows natural light in at the lobby of a second entrance.
Safety and security is achieved via separation of the children and their teachers from university students and staff, but the facility also will contain high-tech audio and video systems for students and parents to observe children from the higher-education classrooms or observation rooms with mirrored one-way glass. Additional amenities include a parents' library and education room, multipurpose room with full kitchen, a student computer lounge and a large multi-media professional development classroom/lecture hall.
This project is seeking LEED silver certification. Environmentally friendly measures include a highly energy-efficient mechanical system with an energy wheel and variable-air and water-valve systems; pervious pavement and play surfaces to help reduce drainage into the storm sewers; a rain garden and landscaping to facilitate the slowdown of storm water to the sewage system; and recycled rubber on the surface around the playground.
The architect is KAI Design & Build (St. Louis). Kozeny-Wagner, Inc. (Arnold, Mo.) is the general contractor, and Kwame Building Group, Inc. (St. Louis) is the construction manager and owner's representative.