CSU purchased the historic Washington School on Shields Street as the new home for CSU’s Early Childhood Center, and hired Architecture Plus to design the renovation. The new center doubled the center’s capacity for child care and allowed for the expansion of the program to accommodate children 6 weeks to 5 years. "CSU designed the building to qualify for a LEED Gold rating under the Existing Building criteria as part of CSU’s commitment to providing facilities that are environmentally responsible and encourage sustainability,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities at CSU. Washington School, roughly 16,500 sf, underwent a full asbestos abatement. A lead abatement, following Regulation 19 for child-occupied facilities, one of the most stringent levels, was performed at the conclusion of the asbestos abatement.
The expanded center will provide the highest priority for enrollment to children of CSU faculty, staff and students. The Early Childhood Center functions as a lab school, so this project has the dual advantage of significantly improving the teaching and learning opportunities for CSU students and faculty in almost a dozen different academic programs while also enhancing child-care options for campus parents. Originally opening in 1919, the Washington School served as the lab school in Poudre School District for many years. Incorporating this new facility into the program will help to sustain the current service of about 400 CSU students each year in internships, practica, projects, observational learning and curriculum pedagogy. The design and construction staff maintained and incorporated the historical features of the building into the modernized look.
Barry Willier, CSU Facilities, “In my personal observation, Architecture Plus has been very professional, responsive and a pleasure to work with. This project has been a challenge and the scope of work changed multiple times. Architecture Plus and their design team have been most flexible and instrumental in developing a quality set of construction documents that include Civil, Architectural, Structural, Electrical and Mechanical design. I look forward to working with Architecture Plus on future projects.”