This 24,000 square foot building was commissioned by a not-for-profit organization to serve as a new facility for childcare on the south side of Chicago. The Ounce of Prevention Fund, in partnership with Operation Head Start, the Chicago Public Schools, the State of Illinois, the Harris Foundation, and additional public and private funders, is establishing this new center to expand existing full-day early childhood programs and serve more children — ages three months to five years.
The center was designed to create a nationwide model for delivering early childhood education in underserved urban communities. The project is sited adjacent to large public housing towers. Special attention was given to design a recreational space, which would accommodate the safety and welfare of the children on site. A large interior courtyard wrapped by classroom spaces provides sheltered play space. Additional play space is provided in secured areas on the exterior elevations.