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Location: Somerset, New Jersey
Client: Somerset Community Action Program; Isaac Dorsey, Executive Director

Capacity: 192 students
Area: 20,000sq.ft.
Total cost: $3.6 mil.
Complete: June 2004


Project Description:

The new Child Development Center for the Somerset Community Action Program (SCAP) provides childcare and educational development within the guidelines of the Somerset Head Start Program.

The facility provides a comprehensive learning program, including computer training and distance learning. Administrative offices, registration, a nurse's office, conference areas, a kitchen and a 1,800 -square-foot multiuse indoor play area support these programs. Eight 1,100-square-foot classrooms each include a 215 -square-foot storytelling are, cubbies and toilet and teacher areas. The high ceiling of the storytelling areas adds interest to the classroom's interior.

The facility establishes its own identity by occupying 3.5 acres at the edge of a mixed-use campus. Its playful, bold and richly colored forms help form its identity and establish and educational entity, with appropriate context, in the surrounding community.

The building's functions are expressed in the plan's organization. All classrooms and the two adjacent infant rooms are organized around a double-loaded corridor and are open to the L-shaped play area. The administrative area is at the building's formal entry, flanked by support spaces. The L-shaped corridor terminates at the indoor play space.

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