Sparta Early Childhood Center and FEMA Safe Room
Sparta R-3 School District was awarded a FEMA grant for a new 8,000 sf community safe room on their existing main campus. The safe room will function as an Early Childhood facility, which was previously housed in a mobile trailer on the same site. Their new home will be the safest place on campus, juxtaposed between the existing Elementary and Middle Schools, providing easy access for all students. An option to include the Central Admin Offices on one side of the building is also planned.
With pre-K students being the primary users of the facility, the concept of “organized chaos” became clear early in the design process. In contrast to the strong, rectilinear nature of the precast concrete structure, random, angled reveals provide dynamic, fun movement and pops of color on the building’s exterior. Multi-leveled water-blasting provides depth to what would otherwise be a flat façade. Backlit, perforated metal panel “pop-outs” on the two dominant corners provide additional layers of interest and opportunity for signage. Canopies on both ends of the building draw your eye to the entry points.
Inside the early childhood facility, the honest concrete exterior walls are softened by wood-look LVT flooring, intertwined with selective areas of carpeting. Impact-resistant gyp board walls combine high durability with a tactile feel and fun, but soothing, color. Acoustic ceiling baffles in the activity space tie all of the colors together and reiterate the organized chaos of the exterior pattern with their “pick-up-sticks” layout. Nooks in the corridor engage the students in a small group or one-on-one activities.
Throughout our current project, Sapp Design Associates has been instrumental in assisting our district in the design and building process. We are fortunate to have their vision, knowledge, and expertise to help us create a building that meets our current and future needs.
Superintendent R3 Schools