Saint Paul’s – Clearwater’s Independent School
The Early Childhood Center project is a two-phase project designed and built by WJ which includes the interior renovation of the existing classroom building along with the construction of a completely new adjacent playground.
The design sought to turn the existing cookie cutter classroom building into a miniature main street with each classrooms facade representing various building seen throughout a real town. There is a classroom that is a fire station, a library, a movie theatre, train station, library, sweets shop, even the director’s office is represented by a city hall store front. Each classrooms facade was custom built and is completely functional with interactive features and opening doors and windows.
Aside from the project timeline our team of designers and construction personnel had to come up with a way to turn the early childhood facility which was originally built as two separate building with a cramped hallway connecting the two, into an open and spacious boulevard. In order to do so, extensive structural work was required to remove load-bearing concrete walls that originally sat in the middle of the new Mainstreet. Structural beams were cleverly incorporated into the classrooms façades allowing for the open winding concept to come to fruition without the inkling that you are moving throw two separate structures.
The project needed to be designed and permitted in under four months and construction jammed into just nine weeks while the students were on summer break. The playground was built during the school’s winter break.