Oak Ridge Pre-K
Studio 4 Design, Inc.
Posted: September 23, 2020 | Projects
Efficiency, feasibility, and safety were top priorities in the design of a new Pre-K School in Tennessee by Studio Four Design, Inc. The city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has seen tremendous growth in recent years, along with an increase in the need for pre-kindergarten education. The existing Pre-K facility was 70 years old and in need of some serious repair. The design team and school officials, with input from the community and head-start representatives, worked to develop a feasible, fully-compliant design to fulfill the city’s pre-kindergarten needs.
Photo Courtesy of Rose Gowder
The new Pre-K school, located adjacent to the newly renovated Scarboro Park, creates an exciting environment for children and the community alike. The project includes the construction of a new Pre-K building and renovation of surrounding park amenities. The new Pre-K school is programmatically divided into three types of zones: administrative, developmental, and classroom learning. The administrative zone is complete with an arrangement of offices, a full-size conference room, and a receiving lobby separate from the school lobby. The developmental zone includes a gymnasium, library, and inclusion classroom that goes hand in hand with the Oak Ridge Pre-K speech and physical therapy programs. The classroom zone is made up of 14 classrooms arranged in pairs of two, maximizing efficiencies and allowing for future growth.
Scale was important in the design of the preschool. As a transitional space for young children, the feel and effect of these new spaces are critical to young minds on both an emotional and psychological level. The design strives to create a smooth spatial transition from the familiar scale of “home” to the social environment of a classroom. This was the driving idea behind the design.
The classroom “pods” are arranged along two wings stemming from the administration area and developmental zones. Each pod is made up of two classrooms that share a restroom and include efficiently banked appliances. The classroom pods are then staggered to allow natural lighting and views to the interior courtyard.
The design team worked with the school to implement safety strategies throughout the design. The playground, cradled by the building, utilizes the building itself as a security strategy. Retreat zones were designed within classroom pods for emergency situations, along with impact-resistant glazing and auto-locking mechanisms. Finally, a double vestibule allows the administration to separate access between the school and administration zone.
By working with school officials, and utilizing input from the community and head-start representatives, Studio Four Design, Inc. was able to develop a feasible, fully-compliant design to fulfill Oak Ridge’s growing pre-kindergarten needs. That design applied efficiency, feasibility, and safety as top priorities.
Building Envelope: Nichiha Fiber Cement
Roofing: Carlisle Syntec Systems
Flooring: Tarkett Sports, Mohawk Group, Shaw Contract, Stonhard Epoxy Flooring
Glazing: Vitro Architectural Glass
Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer, Tru-Lite
Lighting: Acuity Brands, Creative Lighting Systems, Kenall
Studio 4 Design, Inc.
414 Clinch Ave
Knoxville, TN 37902
Haines Structural Group
800 S. Gay Street, #1625
Knoxville, TN 37929
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer
West, Welch, Reed Engineers, Inc.
5417 Ball Camp Pike
Knoxville, TN 37921
Cannon & Cannon, Inc.
8550 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
Jenkins & Stiles, LLC
10617 Deerbrook Drive
Knoxville, TN 37922
Date Bid: Oct 2018
Construction Period: Nov 2018 to Jan 2020
Total Square Feet: 33,397
Site: 10.6 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 15 classrooms, seating capacity 18 per classroom.
Building Sizes: First floor, 33,397; total, 33,397 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 28′; total, 28′.
Basic Construction Type: New/Wood/Type V-B.
Number of Buildings: One.
Exterior Walls: CMU, fiber cement.
Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.