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Southwest Early Learning Preschool Expansion

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The Southwest Early Learning Preschool is a bi-lingual Head Start preschool program in the Delridge neighborhood. They describe their curriculum as “a high quality dual language, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, Reggio Emilia inspired early childhood program that fosters the holistic development of each child within the context of their home culture and language.” The students learn in a culturally-inclusive anti-bias environment, with a focus on ensuring they are prepared for kindergarten.

For this project, SWEL Preschool wanted to expand from their existing single classroom to include two more classrooms and a shared studio space within the larger Brandon Court commercial space. LD Arch Design was pleased to be able to offer reduced design fees for the project, and to be able to pursue green and healthy building choices.

A big green building accomplishment for the project was to be able to sensitively reuse the existing spaces, with minimal demolition required. Most walls stayed in the same place, and existing doors were reused in different locations. The spaces are open and flexible, with only the child bathrooms, handwashing sinks, and simple storage cabinetry built in. Large windows allow for primarily natural light, supplemented by lamps for cloudy days.

Interior transom windows high in the wall allow for a sense of connection between spaces while allowing ample wall space for art display. Material choices are natural wood and concrete, and non-toxic products include:

  • Zero VOC paints and clear finishes
  • Urea formaldehyde free maple plywood cabinets
  • Non-toxic concrete sealer
  • Low VOC adhesives and caulks

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