New Englewood preschool building 'brings outside in'

Maddox Early Childhood Center opens with a lot to smile about

Posted 1/14/19

It's easy to mistake the inside of the new Maddox Early Childhood Education Center for something other than a school. But Englewood Schools officials say the district's new preschool building is so …

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New Englewood preschool building 'brings outside in'

Maddox Early Childhood Center opens with a lot to smile about

Posted

It's easy to mistake the inside of the new Maddox Early Childhood Education Center for something other than a school.

But Englewood Schools officials say the district's new preschool building is so heavy on fun precisely to encourage learning.

“Learning comes best for young children through play and exploration,” said Wendy Rubin, district superintendent, at the Jan. 8 grand opening of the new Maddox.

The new building, one of five schools the district has recently rebuilt or is currently constructing, was designed throughout with special effort to keep the kids in mind: overhang roofing so they can still play outside in the elements, and underfloor heating because preschoolers spend so much time on the floor, are just a few features of the facility.

Four playgrounds outdoors, along with two large indoor playgrounds — called “multipurpose spaces” with vaulted ceilings, large windows and jungle gyms — offer ample room to play. Undulating concrete outside works as a tricycle track, said Julie McMorris, spokeswoman for the district.

The front of every classroom opens to the indoor playgrounds on either side of the building, and the backs open to the outdoor playgrounds. And the facility isn't just for kids — it will also function as a community space with an English as a Second Language classroom, a formal meeting room for the district's board of education and a place where faculty can improve their educational skills, Rubin said.

The design and shape of the school was inspired by dragonflies, and incorporating nature is a theme throughout the facility.

“Bringing the outside in — that's part of the concept,” said Donovan Nolan, a director of project management with CBRE, a commercial real-estate firm with the project.

Englewood Schools began construction on Clayton Elementary School and Charles Hay World School in mid-2017, and construction at Cherrelyn Elementary School began in mid-2018. Work on Bishop Elementary School kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2018. Construction broke ground at Maddox, at 700 W. Mansfield Ave., in December 2017.

The projects are supported by a $97.5 million bond Englewood voters approved in 2016.

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