Child Learning Center|
Omni Associates-Architects, Inc.
1543 Fairmont Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554
Location: Morgantown, West Viginia
Date Bid: Aug 2008 Construction Period: Aug 2008 to Aug
Total Square Feet: 18,907 Site: 4.54 acres Number of
Building Size: First floor, 18,907; total, 18,907 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 10’6”; clerestory area, 28’2”;
Basic Construction Type: New.
Foundation: Slab-on-grade. Exterior Wall: Cultured stone,
Roof: Asphalt shingles. Floors: Concrete. Interior
Walls: Wood stud drywall.
Structural Engineer: Allegheny Design Services, LLC - 102 Leeway
Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
General Contractor: Fairchance Construction Co. - 77 South
Morgantown Street, Fairchance, PA 15436
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: CMA Engineering - 5 Riddle
Court, Morgantown, WV 26505
Civil Engineer: CTL Engineering, Inc. - 733 Fairmont Road,
Morgantown, WV 26505
The WVU Child Learning Center was designed for flexible utilization in
child care and development. Managed by Hildebrant Learning Centers (HLC),
the center is licensed to provide care to over 200 children ages 6 weeks
to school age. It is intended to serve the childcare needs of West
Virginia University students and employees.
The center has two classroom wings. The younger children's classrooms
are located in the wing to the right of the building as you enter. The
older children's classrooms are located on the opposite wing. The wings
are angled in response to the site geometry, maximizing the amount of
available daylight. High dormers allow day light to pour into each
space, providing a visual connection to the outdoors.
Curriculum was a prime consideration for the design team. The WVU Child
Learning Center uses the Creative Curriculum, a comprehensive,
scientifically based early childhood curriculum in which learning is
promoted through natural play. Interior spaces were designed for
hands-on, active exploration and interaction with adults, other
children, and materials. Through the physical environment, children are
able to explore the different areas of dramatic play, water and sand,
blocks, music and movement, and art areas.
Classrooms were customized for each age group as were the exterior
environments for each wing of children. A variety of colors and patterns
were selected for the interior finishes in order to provide "place
identity" with low height partitions and elements that create spaces for
small children while maintaining sightlines that allow visual
supervision by adults. Anti-microbial flooring was specifically
selected, as children play and interact with staff on the floor.
In addition to expansive classroom spaces, the center boasts a private
space for nursing mothers, and a fenced natural outdoor learning and
play space with separate areas for preschoolers and those under three. A
large day-lighted indoor playroom, with a 30-foot high vaulted ceiling,
is used in inclement weather and serves as a multi-use classroom and
media center. Meals are prepared on site and served family style in the
Security and child protection were major factors in the design of many
details. The entire facility utilizes a door control access system. The
lobby is secured so that children can be signed in and out of the
building without allowing visitors to migrate to classroom areas. Each
classroom has its own exterior exit door so that in case of an emergency
each room can assess the situation and elect to leave the facility
without crossing through any other interior space. These doors are also
monitored and controlled to prevent outside intrusion.
The project had a critical completion time. The University needed to
open the facility for use in the Fall 2009 semester. The Center was
completed on time and well below the original budget, which allowed
bonus features to be added to the project to enhance the child care
Cement Siding: James Hardie
Gypsum: United States Gypsum
Asphalt Shingles: Owens Corning
Flooring: Forbo Marmoleum
Window, Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer
Lighting: HE Williams, Infinity, Visa, Daybrite