For years, the St. Elizabeth Early Childhood Center was located across a high-traffic street from the Catholic Church, calling for their youngest students to journey back and forth multiple times a day. Hollis + Miller designed a master plan for the Church, putting high priority on uniting the Early Childhood Center, K-8 school and the Catholic Church on the same side of the street. The new design does just that, providing peace of mind for staff and parents, and also allows opportunities for growth and adaptations in the future.
The renovated rectory building hosts eight new classrooms for pre-k and kindergarten students. The rectory, a residential home for members of the clergy, challenged the design team to develop innovative solutions transforming the space into a learning environment. The design incorporates research-based learning tools and showcases a touch of tradition with the existing stone walls of the rectory, as well as the connecting Church. The new early childhood center features a learning stair and sliding classroom walls for co-teaching, shared storage areas and indoor/outdoor collaboration spaces to expand fine motor skills. A large balcony serves as a flexible commons area and gathering space for students, staff and parish members.
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