PreK-12 Education

Anne E. Nelson Early Learning Center

BVH Architecture worked with the Council Bluffs Community School District to design a progressive Early Learning Center, working toward their goal of providing universal early learning access to the community. The facility fills the childcare gap in the community as a no-cost opportunity for those families otherwise unable to afford to start the educational process with their children aged 6 months to 5 years. The 14 classrooms focus on the social, emotional, cognitive, language, physical and academic skills of the whole child, through positive, authentic and intentional instruction that encourages natural curiosity and drive.

Several classrooms connect directly to outdoor educational spaces offering motor development through activities such as climbing, outdoor manipulatives and trikes. Two separate large motor skills rooms allow various activities with acoustic separation for loud and fast activities in one room while quieter activities can be accommodated in the other.

The building layout was designed with sustainability and comfort in mind, the orientation minimizes heat gain while maximizing natural lighting in the learning spaces. The facility will provide opportunities for learning through exploration and engagement in various ways. A tactile building environment will stimulate senses through the use of various natural materials. Building materials are selected through understanding their health and environmental impact alongside longevity and durability.

The design is focused on creating small learning communities to provide fun and exciting opportunities for active and exploratory learning. Security and supervision features are layered into the building and site in an unobtrusive manner to provide a safe and functional environment.

Situated in a neighborhood, the building design is related to the residential context with wood and brick materials. The design provides a simple, clean design with massing and colors to optimize natural light, views, and connections to the outdoors.

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