In 2015, a St.Louis-based company selected Mackey Mitchell Architects (MMA) to refresh their twenty year-old, on-campus Child Development Center (CDC). Though it had received modest renovations over the years, the CDC was no longer an effective magnet to attract young talent. MMA renovated the 16,000 SF faculty that provides care for 180 children, ranging from birth to age five. A phased renovation of the infant, toddler, transition, and preschool classrooms, including ADA upgrades, new casework, finishes and LED lighting was executed within a $1 million budget. We also improved the check-in experience to make it more user friendly, safer for families, and more manageable for CDC staff.
The CDC’s entry experience was enhanced by simplifying the check-in area and adding more lighting for safety. The infant, toddler, transition, and preschool classrooms were refreshed with more efficient casework and cubbies, finishes designed to help maintain a high level of cleanliness and stimulation, and dimmable LED lighting. The classrooms are organized around two central common areas where children interact on a daily basis. These spaces also received finish and lighting upgrades to make them brighter and more energetic for group play. Throughout the project MMA worked with a large and divergent group of stakeholders, from CDC staff to corporate facilities and administrative staff as well as a corporate safety team that reviewed the design and finish selections.
The newly revitalized CDC is now a powerful recruiting and retention tool for attracting highly skilled professionals in a competitive marketplace. At the same time we have created a bright, modern, and nurturing environment that is better attuned to the sensory and brain developmental needs of its children. Beginning with their first visit and continuing as their children grow and develop, families will recognize the CDC as the best choice not only for convenience and safety, but also for socialization and school readiness.
As an architect, I’m fascinated by this transformation – making the CDC a strategic corporate tool for recruitment and retention.
As a father, I’m inspired by what that transformation will mean for generations of children and their families.
- Matthew Roeder