Chicagoland Chapter

The geographical areas served consist of Cook, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois, and Lake, La Porte, and Porter counties in Indiana.

Region / Chapter Member Care Manager: Donna Robinson, CMM, CMP

Virtual Tour

March 16, 2021
4:00 pm Central

Jefferson Early Childhood Center, Wheaton, IL

Presented by Legat Architects

Jefferson Early Childhood Center Playful patterns, sensory havens, and integrated therapy: competition-winning design supports early learners at all developmental stages.

Find out how the new Jefferson Early Childhood Center (ECC) kicks off a lifelong learning adventure for Community Unit School District 200's youngest students. The virtual tour will reveal how the design, winner of a district-sponsored competition, inspires curiosity and discovery for early learners, including the two-thirds of Jefferson ECC students who have special needs or disabilities. The 59,000-square-foot school offers collaborative classrooms and dedicated indoor/outdoor therapy spaces, as well as a community welcome center and resource room for parent training. District and school leaders will share how community engagement sessions, early learning programming, and teacher input influenced the design. The architectural team will use 3-D models and hand drawings to help attendees visualize design challenges.

The highlight of the tour is the sensory courtyard at the heart of the facility. Visible from throughout the school, the courtyard offers a haven for students at all developmental stages to create, explore, and interact. Attendees will also experience a secondary outdoor therapy space designed to promote independence and confidence, as well as a motor skills zone that doubles as a tornado shelter. Among other areas the tour guides will introduce are a controlled vestibule entry, community welcome center, integrated therapy rooms, and corridors that encourage exercise and creative play.

The tour will show how the design exemplifies "ergonomic transposition," which considers how small children experience the world. For instance, exterior and interior glazing frames views from a child's perspective: high windows display sky and clouds, while low windows reveal grass and plants. Throughout the building, windows are aligned to create moments of discovery—some spots allow occupants to see clear through the building.

Attendees will learn about the steps the design team took to lower the building's carbon footprint and energy consumption. Lightweight fiber cement panels used on classroom wings reduce the embodied carbon load. Energy-saving features include a geothermal field and north- and south-facing classroom windows.

Come see the Jefferson ECC, where energy and discovery are around every corner.

Learning Objectives:
  • Discover how community engagement and client leadership drove the design process for the early learning center.
  • Illustrate how technology is a communication tool with 3-D walk throughs generated in Enscape and façade design iterations using Revit.
  • Identify key design elements that differentiate early learning design through “ergonomic transposition”, how small children experience the world.
  • Analyze the building’s carbon foot print and reduced energy consumption.

Tour Presenters:
Stephanie Mangini, Principal at Jefferson
Jeff Schuler, Superintendent at CUSD 200
Robin Randall, Principal, Legat Architects
Loren Johnson, Project Architect, Legat Architects
Paul Pessetti, Project Manager, Legat Architects

Members FREE | Non-members $20
AIA CEU’s pending

Must register by March 16, 2021 at 9:00 am Central.


A4LE and MWGL Leaders feel it is not prudent to hold this event in March 2021. We are currently working with the hotel to re-schedule.

2021 Midwest Great Lakes Regional Conference

Creating an Educational Community   TBD
Instruction Before Construction
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
200 West 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105

Click here for more information and to register for the conference.

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