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  WVU Child Learning CenterWVU Child Learning Center


Omni Associates-Architects, Inc.
1543 Fairmont Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554

General Description

Location: Morgantown, West Viginia
Date Bid: Aug 2008 Construction Period: Aug 2008 to Aug 2009
Total Square Feet: 18,907 Site: 4.54 acres Number of Buildings: One
Building Size: First floor, 18,907; total, 18,907 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 10’6”; clerestory area, 28’2”; total, 38’8”.
Basic Construction Type: New.
Foundation: Slab-on-grade. Exterior Wall: Cultured stone, cement siding.
Roof: Asphalt shingles. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.

Construction Team

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 classrooms.

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 environment.

Product Information
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

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