The Forest Park Campus of St. Louis Community College was in need of a state-accredited daycare center to support students and faculty on the campus and families in the surrounding area. An existing physical education building with an adjacent softball field was identified to be the ideal location on campus for this new program. An athletics program that occupied the entry level along with viewing levels for the building’s competition pool on the lower level was to be relocated as part of the project.
The project not only added a childcare program to the entry level, but it relocated an existing weight room, fitness room, classroom, yoga studio, and several offices. Included in the childcare program are two infant classrooms, a tweens classroom, and two preschool classrooms – one for the campus and one for the community. In addition to the classrooms, a gross motor room and therapy room were included as well as many support spaces for the daycare staff.
To get the required square footage, the exterior porches were enclosed and converted to interior spaces. The 1970’s building had many code issues that took extensive research to confirm that a childcare facility could be added in this building. As part of the childcare program, exterior play areas were required.
The classrooms located on the east facade open out to two enclosed spaces in the former softball field. Both the east and west facade of the building were addressed and sloped walks were added to make the building more ADA-compliant and create easier access for the childcare visitors.