The ECHO (Exceptional Children Have Opportunities) Educational Enrichment Center & Dr. Debra Parrish-Hooks Administrative Center in South Holland, Ill., serves special needs individuals from kindergarten through 21 years. The facility is run by the ECHO Joint Agreement, a cooperative of 17 districts in southern Cook County. It houses six specialty programs: Adaptive Behavioral Learning Environment Program; Communication Development; Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Academic Skills Education Program; Family Enrichment Program; and Providing Alternatives For Continuing Education. Each of these programs had been housed at various schools throughout the districts and had to change locations about every three years. The challenge was to bring six independently functioning programs into one building. The result is a two-story facility that provides each program area with a “school within a school.” Common areas, such as cafeteria, gymnasium, and media center, are utilized by each program, and specialists have dedicated space within that program’s block. The result is a cohesive community that provides the safety, stability, and continuity desired.
Read more about the ECHO Educational Enrichment Center & Dr. Debra Parrish-Hooks Administrative Center and view a photo gallery at SchoolDesigns.com.