LAN was retained by the Voorhees Township Board of Education to assess the district’s facilities in support of their new full-time kindergarten and preschool programs. The decision was made to design a new Early Childhood Addition at Kresson Elementary School. LAN provided the architecture, interior design, MEP engineering, environmental engineering, construction administration and land surveying services needed to construct the project.
The architects leading the project engaged key stakeholders and brought them into the design process. Working with an appointed “kindergarten committee,” the district administration, Board of Education, and students, a design was finalized that reflected not only the project requirements, but the community’s values, goals and wishes.
The 14,000 sq. ft. project was designed to embrace modern learning and includes ten new, and five newly renovated, classrooms to support their full-day Kindergarten and full-day Pre-K curriculum. Adaptability, flexibility, and technology are key design components, with flexible furniture enabling teachers to rearrange classrooms to meet curriculum requirements. The addition incorporates a multi-use lobby that doubles as a collaborative learning area, and corridors include recessed benches for student break-out and pin-up space dedicated to each classroom. A mixture of efficient and decorative ‘tunable white’ LED fixtures set on scene dimming allows teachers to control lighting output in response to both student activity and circadian rhythms.
To promote student wellness, a new outdoor learning courtyard was designed to be used as a student break-out area and de-escalation space. Interior corridors offer views of the space, which features drought tolerant plantings, rock gardens, hardscape seating areas and pathways. The courtyard, in turn, provides abundant daylighting to the adjacent interior. Safety and security features are interwoven throughout the addition through environmental design strategies that maximize passive security without creating a sense of alarm.
Classrooms are all equipped with an ADA toilet room, built-in storage & cubbies, and crime prevention through environmental design strategies have been implemented throughout to provide passive security. This is done by way of open corridors and an abundance of glazing to provide a direct line-of-sight throughout the addition and towards the exterior.
LAN was tasked with meticulously fitting the addition on the site with immediate adjacent constraints of property lines, existing conditions, and rainwater retention areas. Design challenges included finding an exterior aesthetic that complimented the existing building, while simultaneously providing a new, unique, and modern yet playful entrance.
Voorhees Township Board of Education
Voorhees Township, New Jersey
Architecture, Interior Design, Civil Engineering, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Environmental Services, Surveying